The idea of a paid ministry in the Church of Jesus Christ has always seemed a potentially problematic situation to me. There are extreme instances of this sort of thing going very wrong. One of these is the area of televangelists. A well-known example of this is Jimmy Swaggart. But this is not the focus of this post.
What is of interest in this post is the more basic environment of having a paid ministry and pastors leading groups of Christians. Is this a good idea? What are the implications? Is there a better way? Two areas of Church impacts are addressed. They are the effects of having a paid ministry on member and Church growth.
The work of ministering to the members of the church and others within the extent of the Church is taken from the membership and consolidated into one or a few who are paid to take on this responsibility. This removes opportunities that the members might have had to learn how to become like Jesus Christ through ministering to others. There are potentially other ways that members might get this experience, but this basic opportunity provided within the Church itself is removed from the members.
The natural result of this would seem to be less spiritually knowledgeable members about others’ needs and of how to be of assistance with those needs. Also, the obtaining of the personal growth that would come from these types of experiences is lost. Church members are to become like Jesus Christ, which implies that every member should be a minister to those around them. With a paid ministry, this opportunity is reduced or lost.
Effects on Church Growth
A paid ministry means that some of the Church’s money that might be used for missionary outreach work, “Preaching the Gospel,” is diverted to that paid ministry. This means that the commission of Jesus Christ to “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15) is limited by this paid ministry.
A Better Way
It seems obvious that there must be a better way. The gospel should be preached and ministering done without the expectation of payment to pastors or others. This is certainly possible and is seemly more in line with what Jesus Christ would want for us in terms of our effective discipleship.
Bible references that support “Paying the Pastor” and the thoughts of a Christian who says that, “There is no Biblical Defense for Paid Pastors/Elders”. Judge for yourself.