Dear Pastor Whoever….
I worked hard over a number of decades for my income and so do you. Yet there’s a difference between us. Let me explain….
I was a self-employed electrician when I discovered Christ. After hours,I put in much time ministering (as did many others). Ministry, to me,simply means doing what Jesus directs. Jesus gives an assignment, and we either obey or ignore this assignment. Simple. For this I have never charged or collected a dime. The Lord ‘gave’ me a Bible verse way back there: “Freely you have received, freely give.”
So I worked “freely” while you collected a paycheck. Jesus worked at no charge, though He was supported through contributions, and so did every NT person that served Him. You might think, “It’s easy for him to criticize; he’s never been a pastor!” But I am not criticizing…. not you or anybody else. Someone who has failed the Lord so many times and in so many ways has no right to trash a brother. But I do ferociously criticize the religion that employs you, a religion that lavishly spends money intended to finance Christ’s great commission.
You might conclude your pay should be equal to those employed in the world system. But they are hirelings, almost every one of them, just like I was. Jesus has never hired a disciple to do His bidding. “Freely give” has never fizzled over the centuries. Thousands upon thousands of salaried church personnel does not alter, “Freely you have received, freely give.” Pastors are exchanging eternal rewards for a salary.
You are in a difficult space. You do it all because you are paid. And you are paid because you do it all. And you do it all because you are paid. Around and around and around. If I were you I would run, not walk, from that church system. After the Lord told a friend to shun all religion, here turned his credentials to his denomination. That’s my suggestion to you,my brother-in-Christ. Your effectiveness will not lessen but increase.
Yours in Christ Jesus,