Dear Pastor Whoever….
Many do not understand the significance of a salaried pastor com-pared to one supported by contribution. Do you? To clarify thematter, let’s do some supposing. Suppose I was one of the pew-people in your congregation and…. no, no, no, let’s get wilder yet!Let’s suppose that I am the pastor and you are one of hundreds ofpew-people. I know this calls for some powerful pretending on yourpart, but be a sport. Okay? If the collection envelope were itemized in such a way that youcould write down the amount to be contributed to me (let’s makethat Pastor Me), it would compel you to make a prayerful decision.Yes, Jesus would be the actual decision-maker, a positive steptoward making Him Lord in fact and not name only. On the otherhand, if I, Pastor Me, were salaried, you do not have a say in thematter, no need to consult Lord Jesus.
Only the Holy Spirit knows the will of Jesus. Jesus may want yourcontribution directed elsewhere, perhaps to one within (or without)the congregation with a severe need. Or directed to an evangelist. Orto a sunday school teacher equally worthy. Or to whoever. Whoknows the will of Christ except the Spirit sent by Christ? You mightconclude my preaching lately isn’t doctrinally sound. Or mypreaching isn’t Christ-centred. Why should you support me?
A lack of congregational support might cause me to go deeper inChrist. Perhaps Jesus is telling me my lifestyle should be simplified,as was His. And if I balked at such a correction, perhaps He wouldhave me (horror of horrors!) get… a… job! (Yes, a part time job. Areal estate agent, maybe. Or a self-employed whatever.)
The day I demanded a salary instead of support through contri-butions is the day I became, by definition of the word, a hireling.(Hirelings, I understand, do not fare well at “the judgement seat”.)
Thanks for being a good sport.