A lot has been made of Creflo Dollar’s plea for money to buy a new jet. Sadly, preachers like that aren’t unusual. Turn your television to the religious stations right now and you’re sure to find some guy begging for money and promising a divine blessing in return. These men are more like confidence men than they are men of God.
Of course, this isn’t the case for all preachers. There is another end to the Creflo spectrum. It is there where you will find legitimate men of God who are quietly and faithfully serving churches while barely making enough to provide for themselves, much less a family. And, for fear of being lumped in with Creflo, they don’t say anything.
“What do you mean you would like a retirement plan? Who do you think you are, Creflo Dollar?!”
I’m thankful to be a part of a generous church. But many pastors aren’t. They’re told to have a little more faith. They are reminded that they didn’t get into the ministry to get rich. They are barely making it. Still, they continue to serve faithfully.
While in seminary I spent a fair amount of time checking the job openings for pastors. Here’s a basic summary of how far too many of them looked.
We are searching for God’s man to lead our church. We would prefer him to have a seminary degree and to at least have begun doctoral work. The ideal candidate will have at least 30 years of experience, a wife and three or more well-behaved, blonde-haired, blue-eyed children with Old Testament names. Yearly compensation: $14,000.
I don’t know your church’s budget situation but it won’t hurt for you to take another look at how you are taking care of your pastoral staff. If you’re underpaying him, chances are that he’ll never say anything. But he’ll still feel the hardships of your stinginess. And so will his wife. And his kids.
Since he won’t say anything, I’ll do it for him.
Stop going into debt from building gyms. Stop hoarding thousands and thousands of dollars for some rainy day that you’re church will likely never see but your pastor likely sees every day. Stop being greedy and take care of your leader. If you don’t think he’s worth it, get rid of him and find someone who is.
Look out for him when it comes time for him to pay his taxes. If every United States citizen had to pay taxes like ministers, there would be a revolution by tomorrow afternoon. Some pastors have figured the system out. Others haven’t. And they are the victims of a financial catastrophe every year. Courtesy of the IRS. And your church.
There are a lot of churches that have much more in common with Creflo Dollar than they would care to admit. Neither one of them has the first clue what to do with the money that God has given to them to manage.
Most pastors that I know are nothing like Creflo. They don’t need a private jet.
They’d just like to be able to turn on the air conditioner this summer.