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What Should Pastors Be Paid

What should a pastor of a large church (10,000 member) make? There are assistant pastors also along with heads of ministries on payroll. Also, does the church have an obligation to break down the financial information to the congregation? Shouldn't the congregation know where their tithes go?

Moderator - $150,000 plus benefits would be fair.

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pastors should be paid an average income so that they can take care of there family. So that they can focus on preaching and ministering. Not how they will be able to work 5 nights a week at a minimal wage job to make an income so that they can do pastor stuff during the day. We use a board of directors that looks at a lot of large churchs to set salaries.
The budget should be shown in an overall views so that praise can be given to success but not to specific so that arguments over the budget happen. you have to trust your church.
---Scott on 3/8/11

When our church was struggling to pay lights and ect, our pastor didn't get anything, yet, he stayed where God wanted him. Lot of times he didn't get any money but God took care of him. If you love your pastor, take care of him and his family.
---shira3877 on 3/8/11

1: Every church member ALREADY knows where the tithes goes:1 Corinthians 9:13 Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things live [of the things] of the temple? and they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar?

2: The pastors pay thus depends on what the average tithes are.
---francis on 3/8/11

I would say the pastor must be qualified . . . 1 Timothy 3:1-10, therefore "nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock." (1 Peter 5:3) And he and his wife must make sure they stay with being examples, including doing all with Jesus Christ's "rest for your souls." (in Matthew 11:29) But part of that example can include doing non-ministerial work, like Paul did > Acts 20:34-35. Each pastor and church can work out their details about this. Make sure they do not abuse themselves with stress, etc. That is more important than financial policies.
---Bill_willa6989 on 3/8/11

Well....we pay the man of God to be shepherd over the flock. Would God like a church where the pastor couldn't feed his children, pay his rent, gas, light bill, insurance, clothes, and other necssities of life? Our church has about 75 members and we take care of our pastor. Our church's financial statement is always posted so ALL can see. Our pastor deserves everything----plus----that we give him. He is taken care of very well so he will have time to do what a pastor should. We love him.
---shira3877 on 3/8/11


They were sent WITHOUT A PURSE. They couldn't earn money off the gospel, but they ALSO wouldn't NEED money - all thier needs were met by the people.

If a church supplies ALL of a pastor's needs including food, lodging, clothing, utilities, transportation (and, to not be hypocritical, the same standard of living as the parishioners), the pastor must sadly provide these things himself, either from a salary, or from working part time at a secular job (like Paul making tents).

If a church is large enough to require a full-time pastor, that pastor does not have enough time to take a second job to pay his bills. The alternative would be to hire two or three part-time pastors who work in shifts.
---StrongAxe on 3/8/11

AMEN ASHLEY, 3/7/11.

The people who follow the FALSE TEACHING teaching and preaching of the WORD OF FAITH MOVEMENT have no idea they are being "DUPED."

I have been ministering to people for many, many years, but I have never been paid, and I do work a regular job to earn my keep.

In fact, I have given some of my earnings to help others I minister to, when they are in a time of need.
---Rob on 3/8/11

I have met many pastors, ministers that told me bluntly, "If I had to lead a church for nothing, I wouldn't do it and I might as well get a normal job from nine to five." Men run churches for profit, salvation of others is secondary.
---Ashley on 3/7/11

Ashley,Ashley how will they go on extended vacation...say to France? Perhaps race cars? We know that these things give them prestige/unification/symbiosis with real men?
Surely you can work a just little harder. Then they can preach how their doctrine blesses us.
Micah 2:2
And they covet fields, and take them by violence, and houses, and take them away: so they oppress a man and his house, even a man and his heritage.
---Trav on 3/8/11

What a stupid question and that comes from the greed of the world, not God. The bible is explicit that NO ONE is to be paid, because they are profiting off the blood of Jesus Christ. Take ye no purse nor script and go into the world and proclaim my gospel. Feed my sheep, not for filthy lucre, but through love of God. It can't get any clearer than that, but man sets up churches to profit only. I have met many pastors, ministers that told me bluntly, "If I had to lead a church for nothing, I wouldn't do it and I might as well get a normal job from nine to five." Men run churches for profit, salvation of others is secondary.
---Ashley on 3/7/11

why should a pastor be paid to preach god word and show me in the bible
---ricky on 3/7/11

The wages and financial operations of each assembly would be up to the leaders of each individual congregation. We can't possibly give you any advice on this becasue we don't know all the details. I would trust that a church that size had many spirit filled leaders that could make a very reasonable decision.
---john on 9/10/08

You have to first establish a theological position on money in general (is it a sin to be rich, should rich people donate the majority of their income,etc). Then decide if ministers should conform to a different standard. Then all the other issues come up. The Nat Asc of Church B.A. salary survey shows compensation packages for "mega church" pastors vary widely by denomination and other issues i.e. do they get to earn speaking fees and royalties? Some earn millions from books etc.
---David on 11/17/07

I'm not interested in what a pastor makes, If he is worthy of his money then so let him spend it as he chooses. If he is of God you will have nothing to worry about because he will work in truth and get paid in truth and reap the benefit of being true. If you have concerns about where your at then find another church(difficult) EH!.
---Carla_5754 on 3/2/07

Lotta, I am interested to know of your source of information concerning the businesses transactions of the SDAs. Since you obviously r not SDA, where did u get your info from? Or r u just making this up. Some of what u say is true yet some am not sure if I should believe. It sound good but too good to be true.
---jana on 3/1/07

When the beast arises and Christians cannot buy nor sell there will be no income nor tithes. I am interested to see how many will want to be preachers then! The prosperity preachers will be right in line with those who back them for the mark and damnation!
---Frank on 3/1/07

a good example here is the SDA church how they handle their money...I believe this is how they are so successful in whatever they do..All money collected goes to their main office called the Conference Office. They in return distributes money out to their many organisations in the community and the world. Their pastors are all paid the same no matter how big or small the church is. You still get the same as the other. Many whom are wealthy just go without and do it for love.
---lotta on 3/1/07

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i think that the pastor should have records of what they do with the will stop contensions within the body of christ. my pastor has a business meeting every year with all of the members and explains what was done with money and what he plans to do with it.we have a building fund that members contribute to and if for any reason someone wants their money back they can have it.some pastors dont have jobs beside pastoring and they recieve the tithes for salary and up keep of the sanctuary.
---carol on 2/28/07

You asked me who I know that looks after a congregation of 1000 members and does not get paid. there are 14 million members of the church I belong to world wide and no one gets paid to look after the members. I know, the church is universal world wide, not individual congregations. but then again the bible is explicit and says do not preach for filthy lucre. I guess that is not direct enough for many.
---Dave on 2/28/07

In Canada, were I live, it is against the law to hide finacial statements to members of a charitable society. Any member of a church should have the right by law to see what the leadership is doing with their money.
To me, that's only common sense and decency.
---john on 2/28/07

I agree w/ Bruce & Jana. God is the Judge & not eveyone is motivated by greed. Most of the pastors that folks say are aren't. They are usually the ones doing kingdom business. I always say, " don't knock it til you try it."

Folks should know where their tithes go, but most folks won't take the time to ask. Jesus said,"Ask and it shall be given ye"
Folks need to take the time to ask the pastor.
---Rickey on 2/28/07

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The Bible states a laborer is worthy of his hire; a Pastor labors just as hard or harder than every type of profession,after all he doesn't just preach but is on call 24 hours a day in case a member has a need. A large church should pay a large salary according to how many people Pastor has to (under)shepard. The congregation should have an Independant Auditor come in each year and then get the results/report at Business Meeting in church.
---Darlene_1 on 2/28/07

Bible says give 10 percent of net. absolutely. However, I do not approve of giving one singled penny to a pastor who builds a huge church, can have ten thousand strong, and then leave the flock in the church to get some ''fill ins'' to take over while he plays the Evangelical card, and hardly if never comes back to the church, yet year after year stuffs his pockets, not giving anything to the ''fill ins'' yet has FLEECED the SHEEP, leaving wife behind to ........ the.......and end up with a........
---Lynn on 2/28/07

I think way too many pastors are depending way too much on people and not depending enough on God. Put no confidence in your congregation. Put your confidence in GOD.
---catherine_j on 2/28/07

dave, who 4example do u know that pastors a church n dont get paid. I know pastors dont get much at all, I advise all christians on this site to please leave God's servants alone. I am well sure, u wouldnt be doing it for nothing either n worry about where the next bread be coming from 2feed your tribe. easy 4anyone here 2 say believe in God n He will supply. my question will be, r u doing as so? It is not for us 2 question or criticize God's ordained servants.God is their judge.
---jana on 2/28/07

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"I know millions of men"
"millions of men lead huge congregations for no pay"

Such extreme exaggerations do nothing to support your position.

"everyone has a motive and that is greed"

Speak for your self. Not everyone is motivated by greed.

And, you have not answered as to how your extreme position can be reconciled with the plain teaching of Jesus and Paul as noted below.
---BRUCE5656 on 2/28/07

people profess to love Jesus Christ and want to teach others, unless it means obedience to all of God's laws where it is said clearly NO PAY to teach. people are so carnal and devilish. they say do what I say but who cares what I do. I can guarantee that many pastors and ministers would not care about the Savior in the least if they were told you do not receive one nickel to profess his name.
---Dave on 2/28/07

everyone has a motive and that is greed. I know millions of men that praise God for nothing and donate their time, money, energies because they Love God, not because they want rewarded. remember the scripture it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man or greedy man to get into the kingdom of heaven. wake up and smell the roses. It is ironic that millions of men lead huge congregations for no pay, but many that are in it for money are the first to complain.
---Dave on 2/28/07

Since the shepherd is to know each sheep individually I would say that he should be paid enough to go to the unemployment office to find a job that would not interfere with his ability to learn the truth. That, of course is advice that will be rejected.
---Frank on 2/28/07

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Dave the passages you refer to speak of motive. They do not forbid payment rather they forbid working only for pay.

If you feel otherwise then how do you reconcile these passages with that your point of view?
---BRUCE5656 on 2/27/07


1 Timothy 5:17,18 "Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine. For the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The labourer is worthy of his reward."

1 Corinthians 9:14 "Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel."
---BRUCE5656 on 2/27/07

Such a lack of accountability is not right. Not all churches are run like that. Any business report I have seen or been a part of preparing has all expenses, including the salaries, listed.
---BRUCE5656 on 2/27/07

According to the bible in 1 Peter 5:2 and also Isaiah 45:13 clergy should teach and direct their flocks for free without receiving one nickel of money. Everyone keeps saying oh follow the bible and others are wrong for doing that, but when it comes to material gain and wealth, parts are ignored completely. many ministers and pastors would quit instantly if they are no longer paid. they are not in it for salvation, they are in it for greed.
---Dave on 2/27/07

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many men will say oh I have to be paid to live, but that is lies. I know thousands of men who work a full time job, visit the sick and needy, know every member of the congregation personally and their families, fulfill all their church responsibilites and also have time to spend with each of their children. they receive nothing from the church except blessings from God. if you want to preach Jesus Christ, practise what you preach and do it for love and not money.
---Dave on 2/27/07

I have been a member of over 15 Southern Baptist Churches. Few of them include Pastor's salary in the Budget Report to the congregation. If you ask they tell you if you really want to know ask the pastor. Why is this such a secrete.
---William on 2/27/07

In my Messianic Congregation of almost 200 congregants, not one single person gets paid. All are lay people, including the Rabbi. Every member plays a very active role in the congregation and not everything falls on one person. It is really great. I think it is wonderful because no one can say "They get paid, so let them do it." We have no lack of workers and volunteers. It is such a blessing.
---phyla3656 on 2/15/07

I think that even though pastors have the right to live from the gospel, they should ideally not do it, like Paul, who didnt do it. They should be an example. If everybody were pastors, who would milk the cows and build the houses? But it the pastor milks the cows and builds the houses, who would be homeless? if everyone follows his example? Cadillacs and Mercedes are non sense, specially for a pastor who gets his money from the congregation.
---George on 2/15/07

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money collected in all our churches all go to our conference where it is distributed by certain members delegated 2 do such work. All pastors r paid the same wage big or small church, most of it go to building schools, churches, evangelism,2our relief agency ADRA one of the biggest..we dont waste money on flash churches and advertisements. we see 2 the poor, huricane disasters, etc etc. One of our biggest baptisms were held in Russia India, South Africa n
---lucy on 2/15/07

1. There should be a committee in every church that decides how church monies are allocated. 2. Each member should be encouraged to attend quarterly meetings where all church functions are discussed, and a financial breakdown is included. 3. A report of how, what, when, where/to whom, concerning finances should be made available to all members at least once a year.
Thanks for sharing Willow :)
---lynet on 2/14/07

Number one questian===How much should a pastor make? [Better be God called] Answer=== I do not know. Questian two===Does church have an obligation to give to congregation financial report card? Answer-- okey here it is.===YES, YES, YES. QUESTIAN number THREE===Should congregation know where tithes are going?-- Okey here it is==YES,YES,yes.
---catherine on 2/13/07

Today's Christians have the wrong idea what is a church. It is NOT a building. It's when two or more people come together - at a park, a cafe, or in the home. Today's preachers from mega-churches enjoy all the glory and seldom do what Jethro advised Moses what to do. Today's church should be structured like a multi-level marketing company where one leader for a small group where they know each other personally.
---Steveng on 2/13/07

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Salaries, if there are any, should be determined by the leadership. That would be Scriptural. Gifts can be given by anyone at anytime. The leadership has a responsibility to share their budget with all members, not the whole congregation. People on the outside don't have a right to the financials but members surely do. This also is to be decided by the ones who are in leadership.
---john on 2/13/07

Willow - I couldn't help notice the beautiful warmth in your response. Bless you. :)
---Helen_5378 on 2/13/07

All I keep hearing is what everyones thoughts and feelings are except for someone actually bringing scripture into the picture. 1 Corinthians 9 Verse 14. I am part of a mega church and I used to be part of a very small church. It is incredible what our church is doing all over the world. I know that several of the Pastors of Mega churches have put their whole life savings into the church to help it grow. Who are you to argue with God who he should and should not bless?
---Tim on 2/13/07

We don't pay our Pastor a Salary. He said he don't want to be paid. He does God's work for free. He owns a construction business. He is on call 24/7. We don't have any sales of any kind, (hotdog, bake, yard sales, etc) to help us with the power and other things. When we see something that needs to be done, we just do it. We don't hold a meeting saying can we fix this or that. Somebody just does it. We all work together to get the job done, without any type of sale.
---Rebecca_D on 10/22/06

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should we even dwell in that area of the church? I wouldnt want anyone to know how much I get thats private and personal.
---jana on 10/22/06

you quoted the verse, don't you know? lol
If I received a salary for doing what I love that would be great, but I don't. the ministry I did on skid row I paid forout of pocket and over 30% of my secular salary went for bibles,and sack lunches to feed the homeless. I did get paid though Walter, Kinnie,Johnnie or Ernest would make me a hot cup of coffee when I got thereto teach or preach the Word. what an incredible blessing.
---willow on 10/19/06

Willow - 1Corinthians 9:14 says "Even so the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should live from the gospel." I know that the Apostle Paul chose to work making tents because he did not want to be a burden. But what is your response to this Scripture?
---Helen_5378 on 9/12/06

You mean besides the money that pastors from congregations that size typically make from guest appearances, books, cd's, etc.?

Hmmm, still thinking...
---AlwaysOn on 9/12/06

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I am a working pastor I don't receive a church salary the job pays my ministry expenses. my friend gets paid by his church for being a pastor & preaching.. he has over 20 hrs a week to study and prepare his sermon I have at the most 10 hours a week to do the
same thing. I would love to be in that boat think of it getting paid to do what you love to do.
---willow on 9/12/06

It is not a pastors job to get to know everybody in the congregation. In fact from a scriptural standpoint, when your pastor or leader becomes common to you, it hinders your ability to recieve spiritual impartation from them. For example, Jesus could do no mighty work in his home town. This was becasue they didn't see him as a prophet, but as the guy from next door.
---John on 9/12/06

Yes, I think it would be a good idea that they know where the tithes go.
---Anna on 8/18/06

John; 6000 people? How in the world can the Pastor get to know all of those people and their families if such a huge congragation? We have maybe around 30 that goes to my church. But it is growing. I'm not downing your church by no means, I just don't see myself going and staying at a church with such a large congragation. My Pastor doesn't recieve a salary either, he isn't rich, he choses not to be paid. He said no one is going to pay him to preach the word of God.
---Rebecca_D on 8/18/06

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I think it should be based on number of memebers. A church of say 5000 the pastor should be making at least 200,000 a year.

Our chruch is about 6000 members at this time. Our pastor acctually takes no salary, but thats becasue he is allready a multimillionare. I think a big salary is good, but to be like Paul and take nothing becasue he's already loaded as a testimony, thats even better.
---John on 8/18/06

The pastor where I went to church got a free house next to the church. A very nice house. I imagine all his utilites etc. got paid. I cant beleive $100,000!!! Thats a lot. Thats too much! Help poor people with some of that $100.000.
---sue on 7/5/06

I think we should pay our pastors money. Chickens and dinners don't work anymore.
---Julie on 7/5/06

In Numbers 18, God gave the tithes and certain offerings to the church workers, forever.
---a_servant on 7/4/06

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I don't know what city you live in, but $100,000 a yr is NOT an average salary- ANYWHERE that I know of. These big shot mega "Pastors" (and I use the term VERY loosely) live the lives of pampered. Hollywood superstars, and YOU KNOW IT. It sickens me to watch how they strut around amidst thier entourage of trained flunkies who jobs are to make sure the royal highness and his queen's every wish is their command. YUCK!
---T.S. on 6/16/06

Moderator- are you kidding?! $150,000 + benefits for a superstar motivational speaker who makes "an appearance" once a week to deliver his 30 minutes of "wisdom" to thousands of his adoring fans who call him "Pastor", even though he's never even said HELLO to them, much less held their hand and prayed for them while they were sick! One who's never changed a light bulb, pushed a vaccum, carried his own briefcase, or poured himself a glass of water?! Give me a break!

Moderator - I have never known a pastor that works for 30 minutes per week. In my city, the average household income is around $100,000. Should a pastor of a large church be paid less than the average? That doesn't sound fair or biblical.
---T.S. on 6/15/06

The Fatherless are not fed the widows have doors hanging off and the people that come into church have no direct guidlines of how to serve, Does this sound familiar?
---Carla5754 on 6/15/06

I think a Pastor/Bishop should not have to discuss his wages unless he is driving a Automobile that warrents answers, A mansion that he has no children/Gran and a church where his members struggle to make ends meet yet, pay for every concerts, food and such like while the Leardership have Minders and demand thousands for their services!
---Carla5754 on 6/15/06

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I don't know the dollar figure my pastor makes but I have been told by people on the financial committee that in our denomination a pastor of 10,000 and a pastor of 10 make the same salary that way the person who is leading the 10,000 is certain to not be doing it for the money. I point out that they guy leading the 10 could be doing it for the money though.
---Linda on 6/14/06

Anyone who thinks that a pastor should be available 24/7 without pay should be prepared to do exactly the same themselves. Those of you who think this way obviously know which supermarkets don't charge for goods, which doctors will treat you for free, which teachers will teach your kids for free, which shops give away clothes and shoes etc. etc. etc. Get real. If you treated your pastor the way some suggest he wouldn't even be able to afford a bar of soap.
---emg on 6/14/06

Jack, you are correct concerning a pastor being on call 24/7. Would you be on call for nothing? The pastor does not have as many bosses as church members. The pastor is the shepherd of the flock and God is in charge of it all. It is not the responsibility of the pastor to please people. He is to preach God's Word no matter who is offended.
---shira on 6/13/06

You're right, MikeM. The pastor should be on call 24/7 for free and have as many bosses as there are members of the church.

A church should be big enough to pay the bills--and small enough to give everyone something necessary to do. I think the megachurches are frequently personality cults exisiting in uppermiddle class suburbs. Do you ever see a "megachuch" with a poor congregation?
---Jack on 6/13/06

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MikeM: Then I assume you will pay their rent and buy their groceries, and pay for their medical expenses, and put their kids through college, and buy them clothes. How else are they to pay those expenses excepth with a salary? A pastor should be paid a salary that allows him to live as well as the rest of his congregation in the economy of the community in which he serves.
---Madison1101 on 6/12/06

i have just started tithing and have done so with the thinking that i am giving to God what is Gods. My whole salary comes from Him, so to pay money into His church is why i tithe. I try not to think of it as paying the pastors salary.
---anon on 6/12/06

I believe religious leader should NOT be paid.
---MikeM on 6/12/06

Donna, I agree with you totally.My only point is where do we draw the line???I believe that a pastor ,aka preacher in full ministry should be taken care of by God through the church, and cared for after retirement. But retirement is not something mentioned in Gods word.Granted when a man or women reach the age when they can no longer function we as the body need to provide.but mega churches with preachers with portofolios ain,t what God wants.our pastors aren,t ceos.
---tom2 on 6/12/06

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I know two churches that do not take collection or speak of money, just have buckets out in the foyer. One of these churches is monstrous and has more money than they know what to do with, the other is "Cowboy Church" they too are having more money given than they can believe. Both have great big mission programs. Pastors receive small salaries and Cowboy Church has rental buildings that must be paid for and that is it.
---mima on 6/12/06

I dont see anything wrong with being paid as a pastor. Although, I do know that my pastor has not taken a wage or any money since he started preaching there in the 60s. But, he does have a full time job outside of the church driving a bus to support himself. I understand his logic, no one can accuse him of preaching for any reason other than to serve the lord. He is giving no one a reason to accuse him of preaching for profit.
---tofurabby on 6/12/06

tom2, I hear what you're saying EXCEPT you can't live without money because we ALL have bills to pay. Even Jesus said: A worker is worthy of his wages." Even though I GAVE away all of my furniture, 2 stereo systems, dinette set, drapes, Ent. Ctr., and 70 bags of clothes when I moved, I STILL needed money and didn't quit my job. Amen? See the point? We give, but we still need to work to make a living. Preaching God's word on a full-time basis deserves to be paid wages.
---Donna9759 on 6/12/06

I know about two different pastor's salaries.
One pastor of a church of 25-30 demanded and receives 27,000 he is older and retired.
Another pastor of a church of 5500-6000 Demaned and receives 100,000, he has been a guest on TBN don't you understand. I have this information because deacons in these particular churches asked me my opinion concerning these salaries.
All this of course is very interesting.
---mima on 6/12/06

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All pastors and staff members should be be paid according to their position, skill level, effectively and longevity of service.

All churches and mission activities need to have full financial disclosure and be audited by an independent AICPA member accounting firm. Those records and reports should be open to members and public for inspection. And there should be atleast a summary repport and a copy of the full audit report presented to each member attending an annual meeting.
---notlaw99 on 6/12/06

I don't know what would be a fair wage but a labourer is worthy of his hire. Regarding accountability, the church should be keeping 100% accurate records of every penny spent and this should be available for inspection by any member if requested. (I think the government would be interested if they are not). They are usually made available at an annual meeting. If yours are not, you should be asking why.
---M.P. on 6/12/06

There are special circumstances. If a pastor is "famous", they may need special security. Knowing where tithes go keeps people honest and tongues from wagging. We're supposed to be responsible to God, ourselves and each other. OT priests were supposed to take a chance portion of the sacrifices for his family to eat. They got into trouble because they were only taking the choicest of meats. The pattern the Bible shows that God wants to bless us. Bless the pastor--he represents your walk with God.
---Amy on 6/11/06

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