You Can Run The Bases Well (Even If Its From Third To Second), Or Picking on Mega Churches

This is not an angry post about how pastors are practically stealing money from their churches by accepting large salaries.

The Leadership Network completed a study of salaries among mega-church pastors, finding that among churches with 2,000+ weekly attendees the salary of the lead pastor can range from $40,000 to $400,000, with the average coming in at $90,000. I’m tempted to post how many times more that pastor makes than me working 60 hours a week at two jobs as a drug & alcohol counselor, but I’ll refrain.

Now the study admits it is not “statistically accurate for all large churches,” but was more of a sampling of the greater trends in North America’s mega churches.

Like I said, I’m sure most of the initial responses to these findings included some sort of judgment and/or outrage at how much money pastors are earning. But a post on that would be boring – you could probably guess each sentence before you read it.

So just how much is too much for a pastor to make? Since our gut reaction is that is too much – well then what dollar figure is the boundary line?

And just like that you have jumped head long into legalism – where one amount is perfectly fine and a dollar more demands instant judgment. Geez it’s so effortless!

For me, instead of debating over the correct salary for a pastor let me say this – the guys running those mega churches deserve every dollar they get. For what they are doing – that’s a fair figure. I can’t even imagine the innumerable headaches involved with keeping thousands of people coming back (and waking up early no less!) to hear you lecture each week. With today’s hostile climate to spirituality and Christianity in particular – that’s no easy task.

Now I said for what those pastors are doing, they are worth $90,000. However that entire system is flawed. You can run the bases quickly and efficiently even if its from third base to second.

So I totally think pastors deserve that much money when they are juggling corporate-like church organizations, managing millions of dollars in donations appropriately as well as an enormous staff team, coming up with interesting topics to preach on in the middle of a big production put on WEEKLY – all the while spiritually counseling and keeping close tabs on God.

That’s all well and good if you think that is the mission and purpose of the church and it’s pastors. Then yes, pay them handsomely. But maybe the church was never meant to be a big show and a big machine. Maybe it was intended to be nearly the opposite…

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7 Responses to You Can Run The Bases Well (Even If Its From Third To Second), Or Picking on Mega Churches

  1. David says:

    -1 This is America, and we all get paid based on the salary we negotiate. I have a friend that has zero college and makes $180K a year as a broker.
    -2 Most pastors have an mDiv, which in the business would often means over a $100K For teachers it does not.
    -3 What churches spend money on should not be a matter of good ideas and corporate wisdom. It should be wisdom fro On High. I am sick of good ideas in the church – I want to see God moving!
    -4 Church missions are many times a collection of good ideas. Obedience is better than sacrifice.
    -5 Salaries are not biblical. Offerings are. If pastors relied on offerings that were above and beyond operating expenses, feeding the poor or whatever outreach a church had, it would change the game significantly.
    -6 Eph 4:11 also says that pulpit-centric church is not completely biblical.

    Geeze – 6 points is so unspiritual… but that is all I have.

  2. JamesBrett says:

    i just blogged about these same thoughts today… basically. when Jesus is invited by martha into her home, she’s working like crazy to prepare everything for her guest. her sister, mary, on the other hand is just sitting with Jesus, listening to all he has to say.

    i just have to wonder if we’re not the same way with all our buildings, programs, sound systems, worship leaders, flow charts, and general busy-ness. i hope it’s alright that i’ve attached a link:

    http://jamesbrett.wordpress.com/2010/09/20/when-jesus-comes-to-dinner/

  3. of course James link away.

    @David – number 5 is a striking thought, and is number 6. Expect more on that.

  4. David says:

    @Charlie – all you need to do is read the Bible, then Christianity makes a lot more sense. ;o)

  5. Pingback: Show Business and Church Making Out Behind the Theater, Or Trying To Hold Our Fragile Attention | Charlie's Church of Christ

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