Should pastors make millions and live in houses worth millions of dollars?


Clarify Share Report Asked February 21 2014 Mini Anonymous

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Mini Ezekiel Kimosop - Pastor & Bible Scholar
There is nothing wrong with a pastor making money and living in the leafy suburbs of the city if God opens for him the resources for accessing that lifestyle and he remains faithful to God in his ministry and devotion. There is nowhere in Scripture that says that Pastor or servants of God must remain poor. The Bible is explicit that God is the ultimate owner of all things on earth including its resources. Scripture declares in Psalm 24:1 “The earth is the LORD'S, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein” (KJV). It also records in Psalm 50:10-11 “For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills. 11 I know all the fowls of the mountains: and the wild beasts of the field are mine.” 

Why would God deny his children access to them whether we be pastors or believers so long as they serve his higher purposes? There is a poor theology that often associates pastors or preachers with a life of poverty and servitude where he is at the mercy of his congregation or elders and sadly many preachers fear to venture into money making opportunities for fear that they may be perceived as being worldly and ungodly. A pastor and should make investments for his family and which will also guarantee him a good retirement life. 

Paul made money through his tent making business for which he honed his skills through the family training as required of Jewish culture. He refused to burden the church even where he was entitled to their direct support as an apostle and missionary. He was resolute that his was a case of self denial, saying in 1 Corinthians 9:15 “But I have used none of these things: neither have I written these things, that it should be so done unto me: for it were better for me to die, than that any man should make my glorying void.” If a pastor has skills for business, he should exploit the same while serving God and make money. In any case he needs money to run ministry and to support his family and those in need just as any other believer is required to do. 

This is not to suggest that the church should abdicate the responsibility of supporting their pastors but that ministers can do more where God leads them to do. I know of one pastor who travels 700 miles each week to work for a living as he grows his church ministry. This has taken a toll on the young church but the man is determined not to burden the ministry until it is strong enough. As a pastor I am using my skills that I have acquired through business training to support my family and limit my reliance on the church ministry which is still growing.

I am convinced that every child of God including pastors should not fear financial success and should view it with a biblically healthy attitude so that money does not control us and that we remain faithful and devoted to the LORD in ministry service and fellowship. 

On the flipside, this question could have been informed by the controversial doctrine of prosperity which is propagated by the so called “health and wealth” preachers. There are preachers who lead rich urban congregations who receive good support from the church. If the congregation is able to secure a good decent living for him so that he lives in their standard or class, there is perfectly nothing wrong with that arrangement. 

The trouble is where a pastor or other church leaders misuse ministry resources for their personal benefit or manipulate their congregations to give beyond the confines of what is intended in Scripture so that they makes millions at the expense of the ministry. This is sinful and unacceptable and can earn a preacher a curse from God. The ministry money belongs to God and must be applied in ways that bring honor to him (cf. Matthew 24:45-51; 25:14-30).

The moderations required of the pastor towards earthly resources are the same as those of the ordinary believer. Notice the implication of 1 John 2:15-17 regarding love for worldly things. The problem has to do with the love of money

February 21 2014 2 responses Vote Up Share Report

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