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Should Pastor Pay Utility Bill

The pastor of a small church lives in the pastorum that the church owns outright. Some members think he should pay the utility bills, but he doesn't recieve any pay from the church. How should I approach this with the members? Shouldn't he be paid?

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 ---Ron on 4/17/08
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The provision of a house to live in is partial payment for a pastor's services. It seems to me that he owes them only a portion of his time. If the church cannot provide full support, The pastor should be encouraged to take an additional paying job to meet his expenses.
---Donna66 on 8/18/08

This matter is between the Pastor and the Elder Board unless it is directly presented to the Church body for a vote. My answer is you probably should not address this with the members at all unless it directly involves you.
---TIMOTHY on 7/24/08


Yes, that makes sense. In any case, it's all bad and indicates a total misunderstanding and/or perversion of spiritual things.

One thing that I've noticed in various secular venues (clubs, online discussion groups, etc.) is that when people come in and start asking for privileges and authority, in most cases it shows that they don't have the right mindset and maturity for it. (The people who are most eager to guard the sheep tend to be the wolves.)
---StrongAxe on 7/14/08

I am going by the Catholic Encyclopedia (New Advent) on line...

Simony is usually defined "a deliberate intention of buying or selling for a temporal price such things as are spiritual of annexed unto spirituals". While this definition only speaks of purchase and sale, any exchange of spiritual for temporal things is simoniacal.
---frances008 on 7/10/08


Actually "simony" is not the crime of making money out of a religious office or power (as bad as that is, and it's very common today to boot).

Simony is the reverse - that is, paying money in order to obtain a religious office or power. (It's somewhat akin to bribery).
---StrongAxe on 7/9/08

It is called Simony if you make money out of preaching or healing through being a Christian. Simon the Magus wanted the Christian gifts so that he could make money in Acts. This story is a warning from the apostles, against such behaviour. Of course missioners and evangelists should not have to worry about helping widows etc, and that is why there is the deacons appointed to take care of non-preaching business. But as for wages, Jesus said not to worry about that, nor to be concerned about money. Too many 'pastors' fleece their sheep and make money off the poorest people in society (in the name of Christ). It is evil.
---frances008 on 7/6/08


While tithing 10% of the gross may be a noble sentiment, I don't think it was ever demanded. The tithe was on the INCREASE. So, if you had 100 sheep, and in one year you had 30 new lambs (but 10 sheep died), you now have 120 sheep - an increase of 20. So your tithe would be 2 (10% of the NET increase of 20) rather than 3 (10% of the gross 30). The same way, if you had just as many births as deaths, you would have no increase, so you would have no tithe, just the same as someone with no births nor deaths.

Besides, Christians are now under law rather than grace (and tithing was instituted to support the Levitical priesthood, who were prohibited from owning property - and which no longer exists).
---StrongAxe on 7/6/08

Scripture never tells you not to pay the preacher. Infact, it is unbiblical not to pay and take care of your "GOD CALLED PREACHER". And I stress those words "God called"! If preacher receives good wages then I see no reason for him not to pay his utility bills. I see nothing in the Bible referring to utility bills. If the church wants to pay it, the utility bills, then perhaps God will bless the church even more.
---catherine on 7/4/08

Well when the apostles went out to visit with the churches they took no moneys with them so they could not have paid for anything. The church paid for their keeps , food and all so If He is your pastor then I think the least the church could do is pay his utility bill and upkeep of the property. whet do they do with the tithes as they come in. I think that they not only pay the utility bill but I think God would expect the church to do this.
---rober7787 on 4/18/08

If this church is able to provide a residence for the pastor to live. It should be able to put the pastor on a small salary. Basic bills could be paid by the church.I would prefer to see the pastor on a salary.The church would also pay the bills in the pastorum. He would be responsible for any other bills, he would incur.This is the christian things to do.
---Robyn on 4/18/08

Frank also, made a good point:>>>>Pastor- Common translation of the Greek noun-poimen and its verb form, Also the hebrew ra'ah. ---Literally, a shepherd or one who keeps animals [Gen. 4:2]. Used figuratively of those called by God,>>Sounds like to me a position [John 21:16], care for and lead His people, who are His "flock". See===Pastoral Epistle [1 and 2 Tim. and Titus].===Preeminently, the idea is applied to and fulfilled in Christ [Isa. 40:11].
---catherine on 4/18/08

Have a meeting with the overseers and the members and discuss if there is enough money to pay those bills. If not, I'm sure the pastor would be willing to pay them. But I would highly suspect that there is enough to pay them from the church. It's about time the church started to pull it's own weight isn't it? The free ride should come to an end.
---john on 4/18/08

The people in the church needs to pay the utility bills. It shouldn't be left up to the Pastor to pay the utility bills with no help from the church. Does people pay tithes? If so use that money for the utility bills. Because it will benefit all. It doesn't matter if the Pastor is paid or not, it should be the people and the Pastor's responsibility to pay the utility bills. You can't leave it up to one person, hoping he has enough to pay for it.
---Rebecca_D on 4/18/08

From what I understand, and I totally believe at this point in time, that ALL true Saints of a given Congregation should be Tithing 10% of their Gross Income. And they should bring that Tithe to their Church, IF the Pastor is TRULY following the LORD GOD, he should receive a portion of the Offerings to help SUPPORT him, for he is doing the Work that the LORD assigned him. Although the Apostle Paul was not a pastor, he did recive money from fellow Saints to help support him.
---Gordon on 4/18/08

I he amy have a full time job, and do his "pastoring" in the evenings ans Sundays almost like a fvoluntary job.
In that case, it would seem reasonable for him to pay his own household bills, like all the others in the church who give of their spare time.
Without more information it is impossible to give any sound opinion on this particualr case.
---alan_of_UK on 4/18/08

Do not muzzle the ox that treads out the corn. A workman is worthy of his hire. Those that labor in the word are worthy of double honor. This is truly sad. Honor your pastor.
The members should repent, and then pay the Pastor something per month and also pay for his utility bills.
---todd on 4/18/08

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This should have been spelled out in the original term of Call. Do you really want to renegotiate the term of call or is this just a hint that some in the congregation really are seeking a new pastor and want hime to move on. It the later is the case be up front about it.
---notlaw99 on 4/18/08

Pastor, biblically was never a "position"
---Dennis_Thompson on 4/18/08

He should be willing to pay the bills if he is truly called to pastor that congregation.
Maybe the Lord wants to try his dedication and love of the flock even when they won't pay him or the bills.
Maybe the Lord wants to use him for both an example for, and a witness against all of the babied pastors that do nothing and have every bill paid by the church.
---Frank on 4/18/08

Yes, if you want your Pastor to pay his utility bill the church should pay him.
---catherine on 4/18/08

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Michael, the guy who works with you wants to be a pastor because he believed they 'live like kings'. THEY is a very blanket word, much misused. I'll give you a very different scenario. A church survived for years with just 4 members all over 80. They had an empty manse, regular visiting preachers each Sunday to whom they offered travelling expenses.
---RitaH on 4/18/08

2.It would have been fantastic if a pastor who needed a free dwelling place could have occupied the manse but he would have had to meet his own bills and held down another job to be able to eat. That never happened, the old people died, the church was demolished and the manse sold. There might be an odd pastor here and there that lives like a king but you'd be surprised at how many churches are run along the lines I have just described.
---RitaH on 4/18/08

3. It is not unusual for pastors to work for no wage and work in an industry, shop or office to feed their family and occupy a manse rent free. Some of these have the utility bills paid for them by the church, some do not. Unlike a king, they have no security. If the church suddenly decided they did not want that pastor (paid or unpaid) they dont even have a home to move to. I think we must be extremely careful not to assume that all pastors are treated like the pampered ones we occasionally hear about.
---RitaH on 4/18/08

The laborer is worthy of his hire. Read I Cor. 9:9-14 It says that those that preach the gospel should live of the gospel or partake of the things in the temple. In the OT, the levites received food from all the people and were given land. How many of the church memebers would work at their jobs for free? Probably none. Your pastor shouldn't either.
---melann on 4/18/08

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While our Apostle Paul did all his labor of ministry, here is what he says about how he got support > "'I have coveted no one's silver or gold or apparel. Yes, you yourselves know that these hands have provided for my necessities, and for those who were with me.'" (Acts 20:33-34) God's grace made Paul able to minister all that he did, plus take care of himself AND to support others (o: "My grace is sufficient for you" (in 2 corinthians 12:9).
---Bill_bila5659 on 4/17/08

Going by 1 Timothy 3:1-10, I understand that one worthy just to be
*considered* for ordination as a pastor needs to be proven in his own home, first, to make sure he has found out how to make his marriage work and how to bring up his kids "(for if a man does not know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the church of God?)" (verse 5). This would include working to support his family. Then he can pastor others with how God has made him able to succeed in real life.
---Bill_bila5659 on 4/17/08

If he is obedient to the LORD, God is giving him his hire, and he has better things to do than worry about what money is doing. Get to know him and find out, first, how he has things worked out with God, so you aren't interfering with how God has him doing things. God and His pastor don't need money from uncheerful givers and ones who have to have a written contract to make them do what is right.
---Bill_bila5659 on 4/17/08

The Bible is very clear that you should pay a person, "Worthy of his hire". Don't know of any situation where a pastor is required to pay his utility bill on a home owned by the church. If the church feels he is taking advantage of this my being careless in his use of these untilities, (leaving the lights on when not needed, or letting the water run, etc.), they mights say something to him about this, but should not require him to pay his own untility bill.
---wivv on 4/17/08

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Ron...What is your position in the church? Is there a board? What was the arrangement when the pastor was hired? If the pastor is not being paid and his utility bills are not being paid by the church, I would guess that he doesn't teach on tithing. Maybe it's time for that sermon. Of course, it might be his last one there.
---SusieNArizona on 4/17/08

A guy that works with me says he wants
to be a pastor.He said at his church,
his pastor gets a free house, all bills paid. He said his pastor gets a free car,
Insurance and gas paid. He said his pastor
also gets paid $50,000 salary per year.
"They live like kings!", the guy that
works with me said.
---michael on 4/17/08

I don't know the size of the church or what kind of agreement there is regards who pays what.Does the man have another source of income? If not how do he and his family eat? The scripture does say the workman is worthy of his hire.In other words should be paid.
---shirley on 4/17/08


I've been in churches where this happens. Never money to pay bills, but always money to give away.

The church is legally responsible for paying bills that are the result of utility services to the church's address.

If the Pastor doesn't get any pay from the church, then where do the members' tithes & offerings go?

If all the money is going toward missions, and other organizations, the church needs to make changes. Pay the pastor, and utility bills, FIRST.
---Augie on 4/17/08

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This will all depend on what arrangements were made between the church and the pastor at the start. Maybe he agreed to be their pastor without a salary in exchange for having a rent-free home. If that is so he would be expected to pay all other bills. Independent churches all have their own unique contracts for such things and unless you know what it says on your pastor's contract it is impossible to know what he should pay for.
---RitaH on 4/17/08

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