Fourth, pastors know the hurts and needs of their church members and those in the community.
They know that many are suffering worse than they are financially. They are therefore very sensitive to speak about their own needs.
When one has ministered to three families in the past year that declared bankruptcy, that pastor feels terrible even hinting that his family is struggling financially. This reality has been especially vivid during and after the Great Recession.
Fifth, we found that a number of church members think that any mention of financial needs by their pastor demonstrates a lack of faith.
The members freely quote out-of-context Bible verses to demonstrate the weak faith of the pastor who is courageous enough to mention this need.
Of course, most of the critics of a pastor’s pay would gladly accept a raise in their own jobs. It’s just different for their pastor, they surmise. And that is a very sad perception.
A United Front?
I am keenly aware that my writing on these financial issues engenders debate among many church members and ministers alike. I do not desire to be divisive. To the contrary, I am praying for a united response to help those ministers who have a real financial need.
No one should deny the reality that, in a few cases, ministers do not reflect healthy, biblical stewardship. But I pray that the few bad examples won’t become a reason for church members to remain silent about their pastors’ financial needs.
In all likelihood, your pastor will not speak up about any financial needs.
What do you think about this dilemma?
What should we as church members do?
What do you ministers think about this matter?