Should Pastors Be Paid?


By Michal Ortner

The lavish lifestyles of several top name evangelists and pastors have brought up the avoided topic of a pastor’s salary in the church. Many are uncomfortable with the way some pastors are “reigning like kings” from the pulpit. Others are concerned that the church is turning into a corporation, referencing its utilization of a board that serves to change salaries or fire pastors at will as proof.

One disgruntled pastor took to Facebook to voice his concerns. He began by criticizing churches that have a board that dictates and controls the leader.

“Your church is out of order and cutting off its blessings when you make the church a corporation and hire and fire the pastor and dictate what he can and can not do,” he writes. “You will trust him to oversee your soul but not your money. You are out of order,” he condemned.

With case after case of pastors taking advantage of their church budget to fund things like private jets, large homes, and fancy cars, many are becoming skeptical about pastors having absolute power. Some even go so far as to say that maybe the pastor shouldn’t have any type of salary or benefits.

“So what is a church to do when the pastor is using the church bank account to buy himself some gator shoes and a Bentley? Instead of helping those truly in need?” one user commented, adding that pastors must have some type of accountability.

Another user chimed in to say that “the church was never intended to be a business in a building in the first place” and that “Pastors aren’t supposed to be paid, period.”

“Pastors should get paid,” an anonymous contributor wrote, adding the Scripture of 1 Timothy 5:17-18 that makes mention of honoring those who preach and teach and that they deserve wages.

The discussion continued, bringing in a variety of reasons why pastors should or should not be paid a salary. The reoccuring concern dealt with the fact that ministry comes from a love of Christ and not out of obligation or for pay.

Others were just as concerned that pastors could easily be mistreated and unable to support their families if they are not trusted enough to be salaried.

The disgruntled pastor did make one comment that both sides can agree on. “It [the church] is controlled by GOD…”