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Are Pastors Like Plumbers

Why are Pastors paid a salary? Aren't we all called to be ministers of God? Is a Pastor just a professional job like a plumber?

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 ---Jimbo on 6/6/06
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1 Timothy 5: 17The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honor, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching. 18For the Scripture says, "Do not muzzle the ox while it is treading out the grain,"[a] and "The worker deserves his wages."[b]
---Madison1101 on 3/22/08


My son's pastor said he was called to another church, and my son asked me what do you think Dad. Give me a little time I said, let me check the money. The money was about 2000 less than the pastor was making where he was. Yes I said, CALLED
---mima on 5/15/07


No pastors are not like plumbers our pants fit better...if you don't want to pay the pastor to do their work then that will require you to do more, are you willing to visit people and teach and preach? if you are and so are the others in your church then Idealy a minister should not have to require an income. because they could work and not have to worry about their lively hood. or the church's well being.
---Jared on 11/12/06


TS & Jack ... I suspect that in most cases, the pastor and preacher are the same person, and he is also the janitor, the cleaner, the secretary, and ... and ...
---alan8869_of_UK on 7/3/06


TS--Well done. The distinction between "pastor" and "preacher" is frequently too subtle for some people to get. Some people think they are synonyms.
---Jack on 6/10/06




How big is your church though- does your Pastor have to do all the things I mentioned and still work a full time job? And actually, my question was if YOU would be willing to do it, not your Pastor. It might be being done, but if he has no help around the church and IS having to do all those things, then you have no idea what he and his family go through. Your husband is a preacher, but he's not a PASTOR (is he?) There's a big difference in the responsibilities
---T.S. on 6/9/06


T.S. My Pastor works full time -he owns his own constuction company working 3 guys. Plus he is a full time Pastor. So it can be done. My husband works full time as a Police Officer and he is a preacher, it can be done. With God all things are possible.
---Rebecca_D on 6/8/06


The marriages of many pastors hit the rocks, some end up separated or divorced. The strain where a human being is expected to do so much is enormous. Many pastors' wives work at secular jobs to earn the money to feed the family and STILL get criticized for not being typical pastors' wives. Some churches have good, helpful members who share the load whilst others think that Pastor is a Super hero and can do all things without help.
---emg on 6/8/06


Usually Pastors are paid a salary because a salary was agreed upon for their services. All saved souls are commanded to share their faith with others, so that others may also become saved. Pastoring is a professional job, but I wouldn't compare it to plumbing; because Pastor's care more about people's souls, whereas plumbers take care of people's pipes.
---Eloy on 6/8/06


4. Now, here's the imbalance: Most "Pastors" of big mega churches do not have ANY of this menial stuff to worry about, yet thier salaries are staggering. BUT, there are sooooo many little struggling churches where the Pastor IS having to do all this, and MORE sometimes, plus work a full time secular job. So don't tell ME that they don't deserve every penny they get from the church- IF THEY EVEN GET PAID AT ALL!!! MY Pastor is worth more to me than I could EVER pay in tithes AND offerings
---T.S. on 6/8/06




3. stay on top of the building maintenance, perform weddings and funerals, baptisms, and dedicate babies, be present for all the fund raisers and extra curricular activities, attend everybody's kid's birthday parties, school plays, little league games- or either face the wrath of their parents! Would you like to take care of any neccesary corrections, be the mediator between disagreeing board members over what color the new carpet should be, AND make sure all the church's bills are paid???
---T.S. on 6/8/06


2. How would you like to do all this plus, have to be referee in family squabbles or arguments between church members, loose time with your family due to long phone conversations listening to everybody elses problems, make visiting rounds, make sure the visitors get contacted, make sure (if not do it yourself) the church is cleaned and the yard work is done, make sure Sunday School materials are ordered and paid for, make sure the church has supplies,
---T.S. on 6/8/06


Hey Rebecca- do YOU work a full time job? If so, how would you like to keep working that job, but start having to find the time to study and pray over 2 or 3 messages to deliver to the people EVERY week, be on call 24/7 and ready to get out of bed in the middle of the night or whenever, to go sit up at the hospital with someone.
---T.S. on 6/8/06


It was an exception Donna. He was working in his office and heard something running, it was the water in the toilet, so he plunged it. I could have done it had I heard or noticed it. However, yes he is a humble man with a heart for God, he is a blessing and doesn't mind getting his hands dirty!
---NVBarbara on 6/7/06


Rebecca: There are plenty of church members doing plenty of ministry in my church. We have a lot of people in the Children's ministries, and plenty of deacons and leaders, and Adult Bible Fellowship, and a praise band, and ushers, and secretaries, and a daycare center and a preschool, and a food pantry, and growth group leaders and on and on. Our pastors study, teach,visit the sick and shut-ins, counsel, and take care of their families.
---Madison1101 on 6/7/06


Part 4:

Then there's the new tort of "clergy malpractice"--as if secular courts could determine proper fulfilment of pastoral and spiritual duties.

This allows for "clergy malpractice insurance" to be sold.

Does this information answer your questions sufficiently, Jimbo?
---Jack on 6/7/06


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Part 3:

There's also a myth that clergy do not pay income tax. This is not true. In fact, because clergy are considered self-employed, they must pay withholding at a HIGHER rate than the church secretary.

If the church provides a residence, tax must be paid on the fair market value of its rental. This also applies to housing allowances they are given by some congregations.
---Jack on 6/7/06


Part 2: I know more than a few retired clergy who are on SSI ($600 month max)--not even Social Security retirement--because they weren't able to pay into either Social Security OR their churches' Pension Fund. Others have had their health break down because they couldn't afford to have proper health care during their active ministry.
---Jack on 6/7/06


You've hit the nail on the head, Donna. I know more than a few ministers in EXACTLY the situation you describe.

One actually had this said about him at the parish business meeting, "Attendance and giving has doubled since Pastor X came here, but we can't count on it continuing, so I move we cut his stipend." He was already working an outside job--but was expected to be on call 24/7.
---Jack on 6/7/06


NVBarbara--It sounds as if your pastor IS A PLUMBER :-) It's admirable that he is humble enough to unstop a toilet. But unstopping a toilet takes no special training. Couldn't some church member take care of such things so that the pastor could make better use of his already limited time? Or maybe this was an exception rather than the rule.
---Donna2277 on 6/7/06


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I have just read my post of 6th which has a typo. I have typed 'completely unpaided' (which doesn't make sense) it should have read 'completely unaided'. Sorry about that and I hope no-one thought I meant 'unpaid'.
---f.f. on 6/7/06


Part 2 If your pastor has a family he/she needs to provide for them. The family needs housing, food, clothing, transportation, health insurance like any one else. He/she will want to be able to send qualified children to college or trade and at some point they are going to retire and need a nest egg put away for that purpose. If you want qualified professional clergy it is imperative that they are paid a respectable salary.
---notlaw99 on 6/7/06


Ministers are due there worth like any other profession, they had to complete college and seminary hopefully with a minimum of a Maser of Divinity. Many have additional training in psychology to prepare then for Christian counseling. You expect a lot of them, they usually work more the 40 hour weeks. They have to be good resource managers; they have to maintain a professional library. They have to be good communicators with a sermon each week and still have time visit members and attend meetings.
---notlaw99 on 6/7/06


Amen Shira! My pastor is 'on call' at any hour. Visiting the sick, running a soup kitchen, working on his messages, church services, counseling etc.
And YES, I was down cleaning the sanctuary on a Sat. afternoon. I heard a noise, my pastor was unstopping a toilet in one of the bathrooms! Unless the days were longer, I can't see how he could have an 'outside' job!
---NVBarbara on 6/7/06


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I've been in some churches where the congregation is small and members are barely able to support themselves. They give regularly and sacrificially, but still can't support the pastor and meet the expenses of maintaining a church building. The pastor certainly deserves to be paid, but still needs a job outside, esp. if he has kids. I admire such a man. Some who have been in the ministry their entire career just can't seem to identify with work related problems in the secular world.
---Donna2277 on 6/7/06


I don't go to a huge church. We have about 30 people or so. Madision, if that is what they chose to do, then that is fine. But they shouldn't feel oblgated to do so. Pastors need a life outside of church as well as the other people. The whole church should come together and work together as a team. Just one or 3 people can't do it all. the church has to help with carring the burdens. There is nothing wrong with paying a Pastor a Salary if he is soly for Christ, and not wasting God's money.
---Rebecca_D on 6/7/06


Does your doctor work for free for love of healing or concern for the sick (a corporal work of mercy)?

Does the teacher work for free for love of instructing the ignorant (a spiritual work of mercy)?

Does the policeman put his life on the line daily for free because he loves to protect you?

Then why do some people hate to take care of their pastors monetarily?

As St. Paul asked, "If I have sown you heavenly things, it is strange I should reap your earthly things?"
---Jack on 6/7/06


These answers show how diverse the Christian ministry is. One has a church where pastor works for no pay and has a full time job elsewhere, another has such a huge church it needs 3 full time pastors. I know of several where the reverse happens -a minister has to run a minimum of 3 churches, sometimes as many as 7, completely unpaided. Sick visiting, funerals, weddings, prayer meetings, elders meetings etc. No time to earn his crust anywhere else. Luke 10:7.
---f.f. on 6/6/06


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A pastor is nothing like a plumber, a man of God deserves double honor. Big 'if' in there... (1 Timothy 5:17)

A pastor carries the burdens of his flock in prayer (or he should) [Acts 6:4] I like to think my pastors prayed over the same prayer request sheet I did in the past.
---Pharisee on 6/6/06


The hireling flees when the wolf comes. There is nothing wrong with taking care of the person who had given his/her life for the service of the Lord but the Bible is clear about not having hirelings. The giving of gifts is the Scriptural way. Hireing pastors is not.
---john on 6/6/06


A pastor isn't just another job. It is a calling from God. Pastors must live, pay rent, feed their children, turn lights on, turn water on, buy a computer (ha ha), just like everyone else. A pastor deserves as much as the richest one in his church.
---shira on 6/6/06


Scripture clearly states that "Even so the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should live from the gospel" (1 Corinthians 9:14). Preaching of the gospel is a very precious gift from God.
---Helen_5378 on 6/6/06


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Rebecca: I don't know how big your church is, but mine has three full time pastors who just do ministry work full time. Between studying and running different programs, it is three full time jobs. There is no time for them to work outside of ministry.
---Madison1101 on 6/6/06


My Pastor doesn't get a salary. He doesn't want to be a paid Pastor. He uses his gifts and his teachings/preachings for free. He works hard at being a Pastor. He is called by God Almighty, and he tells it like it is. To me the Pastor shouldn't get paid by doing God's work, it is like he is begging for money, when he is able to work another job. He should be able to work a job, and Pastor a church at the same time. It can be done if he is devoted to God, and the church helps.
---Rebecca_D on 6/6/06


No, a Pastor isn't just a professional job. You really have to have the Father's heart and love flowing through you to know how to Shepherd your sheep. It takes love and patience to love the unlovely when their sitting there not paying attention, or being a problem child. They are paid a salary because Paul said it's okay for them to make a living preaching the truth of the Gospel.
---Donna9759 on 6/6/06


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