Is it alright for a Pastor to work outside the church to bring in needed income?


1 Corinthians 9:6

NKJV - 6 Or is it only Barnabas and I who have no right to refrain from working?

Clarify Share Report Asked November 10 2013 Mini Christian Mwila

Community answers are sorted based on votes. The higher the vote, the further up an answer is.

Mini Jim New Just a follower of Jesus Christ and him only!
Receiving a compensation for the Pastors work is Biblical but if they were to follow Pauls example or “imitate Paul” then they shouldn't. Paul worked as a tent maker and brought in his own salary so as not to burden anyone and preached the Gospel FREELY, so selling books and videos in my opinion are not preaching the Gospel FREELY. We need to stick to God's holy word and not man made opinionated books about God. This is one reason why we are the “luke warm” Church of today.

Immediately after acknowledging his right to receive compensation from the Corinthians, Paul states,
Nevertheless, we have not made use of this right, but we endure anything rather than put an obstacle in the way of the gospel of Christ... I have made no use of any of these rights, nor am I writing these things to secure any such provision... What then is my reward? That in my preaching I may present the gospel free of charge, so as not to make full use of my right in the gospel (1 Cor. 9:15-18 ESV).

Why did Paul refuse compensation and work a day job?
Reason #1
Paul (and at least one other person, notice the we) refused compensation because he wanted to have the greatest possible impact. Instead of clinging to the principle “the laborer deserves to be paid,” Paul was thinking, “How can I be most effective?” And specifically, Paul pondered this question: “Is it most effective to preach for free or for pay?” Much of the time, Paul conscientiously chose to preach for free. And that meant, Paul had to work a day job. Fortunately, since Paul was trained by the ancient rabbis who believed in teaching the Torah out of love and not for profit, Paul was skilled in a trade and that trade was tentmaking (Acts 18:1-3). (The actual Greek word translated “tentmakers” in Acts 18:3 could be applied to any type of leather worker.)
For Paul, earning money through manual labor wasn’t a second-tier way to make a living. Instead Paul’s statements display a certain pride in his hardworking lifestyle,
For you remember, brothers, our labor and toil: we worked night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, while we proclaimed to you the gospel of God. (1 Thess. 2:9 ESV)
For you yourselves know how you ought to imitate us, because we were not idle when we were with you, nor did we eat anyone’s bread without paying for it, but with toil and labor we worked night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you (2 Thess. 3:7-8 ESV).
Those statements give us a second and third reason why Paul worked a day job.

Reason #2
Paul didn’t want to be a financial burden to those he ministered to. He writes, “nor did we eat anyone’s bread without paying for it, but with toil and labor we worked night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you.” As the context shows, Paul sought to avoid being a financial burden to those he ministered to. He didn’t enter new cities with a plan to rely on his ministry as a means of material support. He entered new cities with a plan to work with his own hands. And those hands, which probably became calloused over time, enabled Paul to stand in line and buy his own food with his own hard-earned money.

Reason #3
Paul wanted to serve as an example of diligence. He states, “you yourselves know how you ought to imitate us, because we were not idle when we were with you.” Paul’s listening audience would have recognized him as the same man who made tents in the marketplace with sweat-soaked brow. Certain things are caught rather than taught and Paul wanted his audience to catch his work ethic.

Reason #4
Paul worked hard to provide for those in need. In his farewell speech to the elders in Ephesus, where he stayed for two years (Acts 19:1, 10), Paul declared,
You yourselves know that these hands ministered to my necessities and to those who were with me. In all these things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive’ (Acts 20:34-35 ESV).
Paul’s gospel—the message of God’s sacrifice—was displayed in his lifestyle of sacrifice: “by working hard... we must help the weak.” This fourth reason is closely linked to the third reason because Paul wants his audience to imitate his hard work and sacrificial giving: “I have shown you... we must help the weak.”
In summary, Paul didn’t make a living from his spiritual work in Corinth, Thessalonica, or Ephesus. In fact, he refused to do so. And he refused to do so out of a desire to be most effective, to avoid being a financial burden, to serve as an example of diligence, and to personally provide for those in need.

November 11 2013 1 response Vote Up Share Report

Seth3 Seth Freeman
Absolutely. Consider every Pastor that has ever written a book and received income or royalties from that book. That is not income given to them from their local church.

I personally would find it honorable and a good thing if a Pastor had a source of outside income that they used so that the givings of the Church could go to other ministries. 

What of Pastors that were successful business men and then became Pastors? What if they made enough money and were able to receive an income off capital gains and didn't need to take a salary from the Church? I would see that as a good thing, wouldn't you?

November 11 2013 5 responses Vote Up Share Report

9aa51e4b447252291b959c696fb96539 400x400 Jeremiah Kaaya Pastor at Springs of Power Church, Teacher by professional
I think it would be okay for the Pastor not to work and concentrate on the ministerial obligations of his/her calling. However, this is dependent on a few factors that must come into picture if we are to get the whole issue right. Among the factors are the following:

1) The times
2) The calling
3) The magnitude of the ministry.

The changing times
This is in a sense that times have pretty changed and the demands of life have followed suit. In a carnal sense, it is not convincing and right for a personal not to work and be at the mercy of others. Because of this very reason and the hardships faced in living, many theories have had to come into play. Believers no longer give as willingly as they used to. Everybody wants to work and be independent of others. But the question is; is it what God wants? However, in the Bible times, it was very okay for someone to be totally committed to the work of God, after all, it is pretty indeed work, isn't it? 

The Apostle Paul advised ministers to work like he was doing so they could earn a living and avoid burdening the flock. He could though have said so out of the prevailing conditions, not that it is what it should be and what God wanted. Let us quote a scripture in context and ask a few questions; who are the people Paul was writing to? Why did he write to them like that? If we can answer those questions, we will be able to understand better. However, since it is allowable for a pastor to work and also be able to continue with their pastoral work as effectively as they should, let it be. I am a pastor but I am also working. I still do have mixed feelings but right now I am doing what is affordable to me and the ministry.

One of the biggest dilemmas we are in though; is that many of the present day believers do not believe that serving the Lord is any work. They tend to view full time ministers in church as half/under employed. But suppose we all only come on Sundays for service and there is no one to man the church, how would the church premises look like? Such usually emanates from the tendency not to take God’s work as seriously as we do ours (Malachi 3:13-15).

The calling
Some ministers have been called to be ministers while they work. Others have been called to entirely be ministers and that is where they to earn a living as well. Some pastors can indeed work and execute pastoral duties as well. But this is dependent on how much pastoral work is available for that pastor and, on the agreement between that pastor and the flock. Say believers may; depending on how they want the ministry to progress ask the pastor to leave work and concentrate on the pastoral work. However there are some pastors whose calling will never allow them to work, they will always try but will always fail. I have witnessed this. They will always and only earn a living from their pastoral work and nothing else. But it is also true that some pastors have simply decided to impose themselves on the flock in terms of caring for them and their families. I believe such is wrong.

The magnitude of the ministry
This can be viewed in two ways; 1) How big is the ministry to warrant a full time pastor? 2) How big is the ministry to support the pastor(s) financially? Such questions if answered will be a good guide to come up with concrete resolutions.

On the other hand though, all we do must always be centered on God and the Holy Scriptures. We have done so much which is logically and arguably okay, but is it acceptable to God? The church must open their ears again to the Holy Spirit for proper guidance instead of unleashing our intellectual ideologies on matters that can’t be intellectually understood.

In conclusion and in my own opinion, this question has no absolute answer. My prayer is that the Holy Spirit will guide whoever finds themselves in a similar dilemma.

My question is; are you truly a pastor? Have you been called to be so? If you are, God will surely create a way for you.

November 13 2013 1 response Vote Up Share Report

Stringio Felix McKins
There is nothing wrong in that. I, for instance has been in ministry for decades and has not been on any churches pay roll. It helps the minister to preach without looking on anybody's pocket. Some rich people in church who fall into sin can easily be disciplined by pastors who are not being fed by such erring wealthy man/woman.

November 11 2013 1 response Vote Up Share Report

Data Abraham Umoh
My opinion is that God has not changed. Therefore He still expects undivided attention from those called to the ministry as Apostles, Pastors, Teachers, etc. 

Work creates a diversion and makes for serving of two masters. Focus on the work of ministry is diluted and the result is what we have today.

November 13 2013 3 responses Vote Up Share Report

2013 09 15 08 57 49 546 Dorcas Sitali Miss Dorcas sitali
God originally made it, that those who labor in the gospel should also make their living out of the gospel (1 Cor. 9:14, also 1 Timothy 5:17). Paul giving instructions to Timothy said the same thing. The reason for it being so is that those who labor in the gospel or are called into ministry should spend all their concentration on the things of God and not worry about bread and butter as Peter and the other apostles found in Acts when they resorted to electing those, Steven being one of them that were full of the Spirit and Word to be in charge in matters of distributing money among the widows and others in need, while they concentrated on prayer and teaching of the Word. This was also the reason for the tithe (Deuteronomy 14:29). It was for the Levite because he did not have an inheritance in the land. The Levites being preachers and teachers of the Word (law), all their work was ministering to the Lord on the Altar.

Paul, because of talk of people who were not mature, surrendered his rights over the people concerning money and because he wanted to teach the believers to be hardworking, and worked as a tent maker. He told the Thessalonians he was leading an example for them to follow, which is excellent because not all of us are called to preaching. Some are called into business, etc... 

To avoid the trap of being controlled by some people in church a pastor can work depending on their conviction if the case being certain givers go to their pastor to dictate to him what to preach because they give big, so to speak.

November 12 2013 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Cimg1043 Don Whitley Husband, father, grandpa and a Christian.
First off a Pastor is another way of addressing an Elder of the church. An Elder needs to be able to teach, certainly, but they are the ones that watch over the flock or the shepherd, or the leaders of the congregation, but not necessarily are they a preacher. Elder's qualifications are in 1 Timothy 3:1-6.

The preacher or the minister of a congregation is usually a paid employee of the congregation. I would call him Brother Jones or introduce him as Brother or Mr. Jones, the minister at our church or in our assembly. 

It would only be proper to introduce or address my preacher/minister as Pastor if my preacher was also a Pastor/Shepherd/Elder.

Preacher = paid employee who does the sermon primarily and miscellaneous Bible teaching duties.

Elder = one who watches over the flock and guards against false teachers, encourages the weaker brothers and sisters, and is a leader in the assembly as is a Shepard's or a Pastor's role.

Pastor = An Elder (Pastor/Shepard/Elder are all one and the same)

Pastor (as in Preacher) = a preacher who also is an Elder.

All of the above are servants and usually only the preacher receives a salary. 
I don't know if that clarifies or confuses!

Regarding earning outside money in addition to the salary paid to a preacher, I know of nothing that says he can't. In some very small congregations it is mandatory for the preacher to work outside to supplement his income because the congregation isn't able to pay a salary large enough to support a full time preacher.

Galatians 6:6, 1 Timothy 5:17-18,1 Corinthians 9:9-14, Acts 20:33-35 & more.

December 07 2014 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Add your Answer

All answers are REVIEWED and MODERATED.
Please ensure your answer MEETS all our guidelines.

What makes a good answer? ▼

A good answer provides new insight and perspective. Here are guidelines to help facilitate a meaningful learning experience for everyone.

  1. Adhere to the eBible Statement of Faith.
  2. Your answer should be complete and stand-alone.
  3. Include supporting arguments, and scripture references if possible. Seek to answer the "why".
  4. Adhere to a proper tone and spirit of love and understanding.
  5. For more info see The Complete Guide to eBible
  1. 4000 characters remaining