I honestly cannot personally give a strong theological dispute to people who say that pastors should not be paid a decent wage. I just have not studied it enough. So, this is my disclaimer: I am not in anyway saying that my husband and I should be paid more or less when I discuss this topic. I am not even referring to how much we get paid and whether it is enough or not. We are blessed by God continually and are always able to pay what is necessary. Please do not take this post as my being upset about our pay. I am not upset about our pay! The only reason I am even talking about this is because I have come across many people lately who do not feel that pastors should be paid a living wage. There are some who feel that, like Paul, every minister should be a tent maker. This post is my small attempt at giving you, my readers, what little information I have on the subject.

First of all, I believe that while Paul did not accept a regular payment for his services, he never told us that others shouldn’t. In fact he says the opposite. Russell Earl Kelley (REK) quoted Acts 20:19-35. I think the really key verses he is referring to here are verses 33-35:

“I have not coveted anyone’s silver or gold or clothing. You yourselves know that these hands of mine have supplied my own needs and the needs of my companions. In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”

I don’t believe Paul is saying what REK believes he is saying. Paul has provided for himself, but I cannot find where he ever condemned other Godly ministers for not providing completely for themselves. Here he is saying by hard work for God we will spread the gospel and be blessed. He doesn’t seem to say that if you receive payment you won’t be blessed. He says we must do what we can to help God’s cause with as little material things as possible. I am really not trying to make myself look good when I say that we don’t get paid a lot, but we make it with God’s provision and we are still able to tithe and give more than 10% to missions as well. So, through what others have given to the church, which has then been paid to us as salary, we have blessed others. We have also blessed others by living as frugally as we can and not demanding a high wage.

A second passage that I would like to highlight is Luke 10:1-16. (more…)

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