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Pastor Charging For Services

A lady said her church charges $200 for a wedding, but before raising the price to $500 they did a survey of local pastors. One pastor charges $2,000 for his services and that does not include the use of the church. Any comments?

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It is not right for them to charge their own congregation members for the weddings. However, if a couple are not of the congregation, then a small charge could be required.
---Betty on 3/1/09

$2000 seems way excessive. $500 also seems like a lot, if the whole sum is going just to the pastor. Each congregation is different. Many congregations that I know of pay for facility costs (like building, maintenance, utilities) and the pastor's salary out of collections, so there is not the need of having a special fee for things like weddings, so long as one of the couple being married is part of the congregation. Personally, I like the concept of a pastor, who seeks to support himself (like Paul), so he does not appear to be burdening those he seeks to serve, but I have no problem with a full-time pastor being paid a reasonable salary so that he can live a decent life.
---Doug on 2/20/09

the pastor discusse was charging 500 dollars, now the question should first be asked, why does the pastor charges the 500, and what is included inthat price.
water, electricity, heating or airco, wine for holy supper, oil for the anointing of the rings, decoration of the church the expenses of the choir, cleaning service, dry cleaning for the pastors special dresses, the traditional familiebible offered by the church again another churchgift, expenses for the legalisation and administration.etc. i would say that pastor allready does a great job.andthe church bearly ghets anything plus upon that.
---Andy on 2/19/09

I remember someone telling me about their pastor who never had a car he owned a push bike, he probally did recieved wages I don't know but according to the woman he was very independant and nothing like the buffed up ones the congregation VOTED him OUT???
---Carla5754 on 2/3/09

John>>"go to a lawyer, doctor, electrician..." -- wrong example, john. These are occupations. Being a pastor is not an occupation a man takes and earn wages out of it.

First, let's clarify: The other expenses that may be incurred (like, getting a florist to arrange the flowers inside the church, or a caterer for the food, etc.) then that is beside the point. But for a pastor to be paid for conducting the marriage ceremony, is against the bible.

" shall they preach, except they be sent?"(Rom.10:15) --a TRUE preacher is sent by God. You do not choose to be a pastor, the Lord calls you into this duty. And what did God say to His preachers?
---manny on 1/29/09

Its about time that all parishoners put their collective feet down and made sure they had a pastor, not a wolf. If a congregation wants a full-time pastor, then work with that pastor to come up with a mutually acceptable living allowance. The pastor should not himself be in charge of setting fees or his own salary otherwise its like putting the fox in charge of the hen house. The other thing with this is that if the avenue is open for the pastor to make a killing while fleecing the flock, the temptation may be too great for him, so why not help limit his temptation by setting down the rules up front.
---Laura on 1/28/09

Curious. Why take a survey? A "pastor" should offer his services as part of his church duties as he "serves the flock," not fleece it. But on the other hand, why not fleece it? If people feel good about being dominated and intimated, let it be. It may not be right, but what are we going to do about it. Someday I'll learn what it is about the human being that will allow someone else to stand up in front and manipulate them into thinking the way the person wants them to think, rather than teaching them to think for themselves.
---Rod on 12/29/08

Another soon to be a millionaire pastor -"praise the Lord for the money He has provided me, Alleluia"

I've watched a "wedding" ceremony once at an AoG church. I was literally sick in my stomach for the farse that took place that day.
---Paul2 on 12/27/08

$2K for a wedding? ...this "pastor" must charge $5K for a burial seeing that the burial happens ONLY once and many people today marry several times ...he could potentially make a small fortune with marriages

ONLY false ministers believe they are "like" lawyers and doctors treating the office in Christ as an hourly job with wages and "set hours" ...the tithe pays for his living expenses etc

how sad that many people flock to serve him unable to see he is not a minister of God
---Rhonda on 12/26/08

Every situation is different. To give freely is true But the story of the widows mite is an Example in its Illustration Holly.what can you give if you don't have.God knows this too.render to Caesar what is Caesars and to God what belongs to God after all we are called to support our Pastors according to our capacity. JMHO
---mic on 12/26/08

Highway robbery!

How big is your church? Perhaps the demand for him to do weddings is so high he has to keep the price up to discourage people. It may be just a time management thing or he may be just out to rip you off.

You live in free market. Get someone you like and who won't take advantage of you.
---Naulon on 12/24/08

Well, I have a problem with it. I don't know about God, but I have a problem with it!
---catherine on 12/23/08

Paul was a tentmaker. That is how he earned his income and sustained himself. Not by charging for his God appointed duty.
He took collections, but this was not for his income, this was to fund the missionary work.
---john_adams on 12/23/08

I feel it is fine for a full time pastor to be paid a reasonable living expense, but it is an embarassment to the church to have some one that is no better than the "money changers in the temple" who are just "fleecing the flock". I know of a few congregations that have unpaid part time ministers. In a lot of ways, I think this is best on a local level, it keeps everyone more humble and more equal and doesn't bring the evils of seeking after money. Getting paid $2000 to just do a wedding for a congregation member just "stinks to high heaven".
---chris on 11/3/08

Mike ... I thank God that in the UK we have very very few pastors like those you describe.
---alan_of_UK on 10/23/08

People pay other workers for their time - lawyers, doctors, mechanics, waiters, etc. Also, such workers are allowed free time away from work to spend with their families and to pursue their own interests.

Except pastors, who are expected to freely donate all their time to anyone who asks. How would YOU feel if friends or neighbors came to you on your evenings or days off, and asked you to help them out free? Sure some of us would gladly do so once in a while, but to be expected to be on call 24/7 to give up all your free time any time anyone asks is likely more than most of us would willingly do. Even Jesus fled from the crowds.

If we wouldn't want others treating us this way, we shouldn't treat anyone else this way either.
---StrongAxe on 10/22/08

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pastors also charge every sunday. they use the tithe to pay for the gospel so pastors / televangelist have a salary. that is why they pass around the tithe basket. they use fear shame blame fear & guilt for you to give 10%. like the 0700 club, after you pray for salvation, they tell you to call the 1800 number so they can ask for your name address & send you an envelope so pat robertson can get rich. the sad about christianity is you are brainwashed in the name of obedience, while pastors /televangelist take advantage of your ignorance.
---mike on 10/22/08

Charging for services is just plain sad. Weddings and funerals should be part of the job description. I might be able to see it if a non-church member wanted to be married. But church members already pay a tithe, and the tithe pays the salary. Ministering to the body through wedding ceremonies is part of the pastor's job. I used to go to a church where the pastor would not even counsel people for problems. He referred them to a "ministry" that charged $100 an hour. Meanwhile, he spent his time during the week golfing and swimming at the athletic club.
---obewan on 10/22/08

Amen Holly4jc. "...freely ye have received, freely give."(Mat.10:8). The apostles received the teachings of Jesus freely and they shared it to people also freely. Now is marriage, or is baptism some of the teachings of God? Yes. Why then would these pastors ask for payment for fulfilling the teachings of God. "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the father..." (Mat.28:19) And if these pastors reason on the operating cost of their service, these things should come from the offerings of the church members, or better, follow apostle Pauls example: "...and labour, working with our own hands..."(1Cor.4:12) They work with their own hands to support themselves and the ministry.
---manny on 10/21/08

The comparison between a lawyer and a pastor would seem to be a stretch. Some would say that that the lawyer is a parasite on society while the pastor is supposed to be a helper and counselor of society. But regardless a lawyer and pastor are not synonymous with each other.
---mima on 9/29/08

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Most people, even Christians, don't mind paying a lawyer that much and more to sue a brother. The very ones who fuss about paying that much to get married by that pastor wouldn't even blink once at paying a lawyer more than that to sue that same pastor for some infringement on their rights. Who is really greedy here? Let him who is without sin first cast a stone.
---Linda_G. on 9/25/08

We never get the full story on blogs like this. It is always line up against the Pastor.
Mima 50 years ago was 1958. You could get about 20-25 gals of gas for 5 bucks. A family of 4 could eat a week on that.
But as always people don't go to the church except to get married and buried. (Hopefully there is a difference)
Someone else pays for all of the lights, water, supplies and such.
I am not interested in performing marriages like Marrying Sam.... It appears that some others aren't either. Now your flock is a different thing.
phebe6653 the key was this guy was your Pastor. He should perform the service for you.
---Elder on 9/24/08

I'm shocked. I never heard of a Pastor charging a lot for a wedding. Times have changed. Just make the check out to brother Lee Love. Everything is money now. Greed is ruining our Nation. That's why we are in the mess were in. Like someone said here, What would Jesus do?
---John on 9/24/08

Passed up the big church in exchange for a Magistrate in a 300 year old courthouse for $40.00 out of State. Planning a Wedding? I'd suggest shopping around. How big is that church and how well do you know the Reverend. Asked about a cost for church for about $ 3000.00 (only) around 25 years ago and though that man was out of his mind. Beautiful place that had an ugly electric bill along with other expenses I'm sure. Might depend on if you got a discount from being a church member or not also. Can see how some weddings are in the multi-thousands of dollars if you think about it. Think about what you can afford truly.
---Pamela on 9/23/08

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phebe6653...sounds like you have a wonderful pastor who truly has the heart of God and the heart of a servant....just like Jesus!
---Holly4jc on 9/23/08

My wife and I got married 50 years ago this coming August. To show you how much times have changed we gave the pastor five dollars and there was no charge for the church.
---mima on 9/23/08

I think it is very sad that we have men who say they are called of God and really are just in it to make money. When my husband and I got married almost 3 years ago, we tried to give a little money to my pastor for marrying us and he refused it. He said that if we gave any thing to him that he would hold on to it and give it to us on our first anniversary. If it was me, I would find another church to attend if the preacher wanted that much for a wedding!
---phebe6653 on 9/22/08

If a Pastor charges that much to get two people married, I'd just go to the courthouse or another county or state. Just like everything else weddings have a price on them. Have you ever watched the show on T.V. Bridezilla's? if so, maybe this bride was a huge bridezilla and the Pastor of the church couldn't please her. Or maybe the groom to be was a groomzilla. It is okay for there to be a price to use the church, but if there is a price for the Pastor's services that is where it is wrong.
---Rebecca_D on 9/22/08

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In my 37 years in full-time Christian work, have NEVER known of a pastor who charges for doing any type of ceremony. For a wedding, usually a pastor will get a gift of money from couple, but it's stickly voluntary. I've seen pastors refuse money for other cememonies. The only exception might be if the church charges for the use of their building.
---wivv on 9/22/08

SuseB ... I understand now! That is a good story of dedication and blessings.

My full time pastor is not in reciept of a pension, has no inherited funds, and has three children to support, so he could not afford to do his pastor job unless he received a salary (and it is very modest)
---alan_of_UK on 9/22/08

Alan of UK.....For twenty years, my husband ministered in prisons while holding down a full-time job doing five services every week. He took early retirement from his 35-year union job five years ago so we could minister full-time. We have started two churches since our retirement. The first one was in a church property that had been vacant for years and through the working of the Holy Spirit, that property came back to life and is still going strong. We started the second one three months ago and it is growing faster than the first one. Our full tithes goes to help support the church. All this while doing six to ten jail services and one shelter service every month. It's all about Jesus----not the money.
---SusieB on 9/22/08

SusieB "My husband takes no money from the congregation he pastors... We have been richly blessed financially without taking one cent from anyone.

Susie ... I'm puzzled, and wonder where does the money come from, since you take it from no-one.

Does he have other employment, and pastor part-time?

I would like to tell my full time salaried pastor the secret!!
---alan_of_UK on 9/21/08

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It seems to me that it's seperate work from the gospel. Therefore it's a different work. So i would have to say that it seems okay to me. I am going to have a problem with pastors who would charge us for sharing the good news but have not heard of any yet. Keep up the good work pastors.
---Rocky on 9/20/08

Mima...That's no pastor. That's a materialistic heathen.
---SusieB on 9/20/08

A little more information about this pastor.
This pastor has been a guest on TBN!!!
This pastor has a 4000 square-foot home. I do not know where it is furnished by the church or not.
This pastor leads a Meg Church, out front before you get to the sanctuary, is a near complete breakfast restaurant.
Several people have told me that they have an eerie feeling about this pastor at that they sense a spirit of evil about this man.
And I must say that I have experienced the same concerning this man's spirit.
---mima on 9/20/08

I commend your husband sounds like he truly has the heart of God and completely trusts the Lord to meet all his needs. When one truly trusts the Lord to meet their needs, there will be no need to beg for money from anyone else...God will make a way to make sure you get what you need. :-)
---Hollyb4jc on 9/19/08

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Christians are called to different standards than the world is. Many things Christians do without charge or fee to show love to others. This would appall the unsaved. If you are a member of this church, I don't feel the pastor should charge. But a guideline of charges should be listed to give to those who are planning to wed. Reasonable fees.Sometimes more will be given than listed on the guideline or the actgual fees suggested. There are many ways to compensate a person for their time.
Christians do things out of love,when able.Especially for those who are of the housheold of faith(other believers).
We should always keep this in mind: we should never try to take advantage of others. Especially our own people(other christians)
---Robyn on 9/19/08

I would not measure my esteem of a pastor by how much money I give to him. Paul did all he did ministerially, while Paul was doing work by his own hands, and even providing for the needs of those who were with him (Acts 20:34), under conditions a "little" more stressful than a number of our pastors are in (o: So, I'd say if a pastor knows what he is doing, he can stay in Jesus Christ's "rest for your souls" (Matthew 11:29) and do all his ministering plus earn enough to run his cup over to ones in need, as our example of how to live (1 Peter 5:3). Also, it says, "Let him who is taught the word share in all good things with him who teaches." (Galatians 6:6) >
sharing in ***all*** good things...not merely money.
---Bill_bila5659 on 9/18/08

RitaH....My husband takes no money from the congregation he pastors. We also support our jail and homeless ministries without any financial help from the congregation. This is the way it has been for the 25+ years my husband has been serving the Lord. We have been richly blessed financially without taking one cent from anyone. I believe this is the way we should all be serving the Lord.
---SusieB on 9/18/08

Just one word comes to mind - ELOPE!
---Becky on 9/18/08

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MIC...It's true...Jesus did pay the tithe from monies taken from a fish...but He NEVER charged for any ministry work He did. You are comparing two different things. Whenever Jesus healed the sick or delivered someone of a demon...He never, ever asked for money in return. As Bill quoted from the Bible..."Freely you have received, freely give". Now if someone wanted to give a freewill offering, that is another story.
---Holly4jc on 9/18/08

Why do you pay your caterer, cake maker, and florist more for their services at a wedding then you pay your Pastor? Do you not value your Pastor more than these other service providers? When is the last time that you sent your Pastor an anonymous gift for no reason at all? Where in the Bible does it say that you should treat your Pastor and his family worse than you treat your florist?These men of God are not your indentured servants just because you toss a few coins in the collection plate. They are called by God to serve so if I were you I would treat them well...very well.
---TIMOTHY on 9/18/08

I don't know of a pastor anywhere who gets his clothes, medical care, food, and such for free. Does anyone know of a pastor this fortunate???

katavasia, I'd be interested to know where this happens.
---RitaH on 9/18/08

If a Pastor charges for his services, according to the Word fo God,he is out of order. A Pastor can charge a modest price to marry someone, but for a service. If a member of the church gets married there, then the price would be reasonable especially if you know that they are faithful in their tithes and offerings. If they are not a member then you have a standard price for useage, because the church does have expenses so you have to charge. I think it should be reasonable and it depends on thesize of the party and how much usage is required. As Christians we should overdue, if we want to draw people we have to show LOVE and COMPASSION.
---Lellean on 9/18/08

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"Every labourer is worthy of His Hire"when dealing with a situation costing $ and cents.If you do not like the deal move elsewhere suitable to your pocket. BUT you WOULD be taking advantage if it was your church.Every thing has a cost value.Jesus paid his tithe from the mouth of a fish .But he paid it.Just MHO.
---MIC on 9/17/08

My tentative strategy for getting married > get to know the person I'm interested in, becoming family with her church. Simply do things as family. Have the wedding during a regular worship service > get blessed together, until we have pleased the LORD. Then IF the Holy Spirit verifies that He wants to pronounce us, go forward for prayer and get publicly presented as man and wife. "Freely you have received, freely give." (in Matthew 10:8) If anyone insists that some money thing happen, THEY can do that (o: And anything else is voluntary, whatever anyone would enjoy doing. The best counseling I know is to feed on the example of a couple who lives God's love in the Holy Spirit > 1 Peter 5:3.
---Bill_bila5659 on 9/17/08

In the Church of England, there is a standard fee, which is payable to the chhurch itself. The pastor does not get paid for the service
By law, being the Established Church, we are obliged to marry anyone who resides in the parish, whether church member or not. I find this sad.
The pastor makes each couple attnd marriage prep courses.
We have a church hall which is availbale to the community, and we do charge for the use of this .. dependeant on ability to pay.
---alan_of_UK on 9/17/08

It is quite usual, here in the U.K., for pastors to charge a fee for conducting weddings and funerals but usually not for their own members. Here they are not paid exhorbitant amounts as some are and such things are extra to their usual work load.

The fees you mention though seem ludicrous. Here I think it would be more like 35 GBP -50 GBP.

I believe Anglican churches have set fees with extra for bell ringers and choir etc. Alan will know about this I'm sure.
---RitaH on 9/17/08

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"" if the gospel is FREE, then these pastors should not charge anything. but the use obidience, 'word of god' as loopholes to get paid & get rich.""

As one old pastor said, salvation is free, but the church costs money.

Of course, the pastor gets his clothes, medical care, food, and such for free, doesn't he?
---katavasia on 9/17/08

$2,000 is outragious for just the service of the wedding(officiating) it alone. I could see if it included counseling ,plus church usage etc... $200 is reasonable for church & officiating.I'm a minister and officiate weddings only charging $75 unless they need me at the rehearsal dinner, if so it's $100 & no higher. I go to them no matter their church affiliation as long as it's a christian church.
---candice on 9/17/08

One question...WWJD?
---Holly4jc on 9/17/08

I guess another way of looking at it is: Does the Pastor consider his "pastorship" a ministry that the Lord has appointed/annoited him to, in order to serve the Lord or does he consider it a "job" that he should get paid for just like a lawyer, doctor, accountant, etc.? If he does consider it a "job" then perhaps he is in the wrong field. Jesus never got paid for anything. However, there is nothing wrong with accepting offerings.
---Holly4jc on 9/17/08

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Charging a price for the rental of the church building for a wedding is in no way the same as charging for church attendance or charging for the gospel. Our church would not rent the building for any function. The church building would also not be made available for any weddings that were not between a Christian bride and groom. My husband does not charge to perform weddings and requires the couple of go through extensive pre-marital counseling with him.
---SusieB on 9/17/08

I have no problem with a Pastor charging for some fringe services. Many of these services are beyond their scope of normal duties and they should be compensated. There are many people within the Christian world that believe once they hire a Pastor they have an indentured servant for everyone in the congregation. I am tired of seeing men of God mowing lawns just because no one else in the congregation will volunteer to help. They deserve every once of the dignity, respect, and compensation that their education, experience, and training deserve.
---TIMOTHY on 9/17/08

All I know is that when I got married to my beautiful wife, my pastor didn't charge us a dime.

I understand charging for additional decorations and things for the ceremony. But as far as the pastor charging for officiating (especially an outrageous amount like $2,000), I don't see the need for it.
---Bobby3 on 9/17/08

$200 is reasonable, but tell you what. If my Pastor didn't charge $200, I would have given him a very nice amount. See, when you charge for services such as this one, when you're a member of a church, the ceremony should be free and let the couple being married pray about the amount to bless the Pastor with.

These Pastors are not leaving room for faith to operate and for the couple to be led by the Lord regarding what amount to give.
---donna8365 on 9/17/08

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Go to a lawyer, doctor, electrician, or any proffessional and you will see they all cost. I'm a pastor and have never charged for weddings and neither has our church but I think the pastor who counsels and spends 4 hours at the rehersal and then an entire afternoon at a wedding, photo studio, and reception is certainly worth something. 2,000$ is out of line for a small wedding but what about a wedding that has 1,000 people? Who does the security, cleanup, dishes, and entertainment? The price should be able to be set by the pastor and the church that is to be used. 200-500$ is certainly not out of line.
---john on 9/17/08

if the gospel is FREE, then these pastors should not charge anything. but the use obidience, 'word of god' as loopholes to get paid & get rich.
---mike on 9/17/08

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