Social Question

Aster's avatar

Should Ministers Take a Vow of Poverty or Skim Money Off the Top?

Asked by Aster (18801points) July 11th, 2010

Ever notice how minister’s living conditions are concealed? They always make profits on what they’re peddling. How much is too much?
Should they build huge churches or keep it simple? Do they Really despise money or secretly worship it.

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4 Answers

whatnot's avatar

As a preacher’s kid, I know from firsthand experience that the average minister does not live high off the hog. My pop always had at least one part-time job in order to supplement the little, poverty level income he received as a minister.

Almost all churches have to account for income and expenses to their congregation. There’s usually a simple spreadsheet presented to members during a congregational meeting that outlines how much the pastor’s compensation is, and other allowances provided, included health insurance (if the church can afford it, many cannot) and housing allowance.

Small to average sized churches are more common that large and mega sized churches. Usually, it’s the churches that do not belong to a denomination, that do not follow typical financial accountability procedures, that are more likely to have a minister / pastor amass more than a fare compensation and living allowance. Any congregant that belongs (is a member of) any reputable church or denomination should have access to the financial information of their organization. As a congregant, I would be leery of organizations that do not disclose at least a summary of income and expenses. Congregants are equally accountable to the reputation and financial responsibilities of their church.

So, I’ve never noticed minister’s income and living allowances concealed, because I show up at congregational meetings. No, they do not always make a profit. If they do, it is the exception and not the rule. How much is too much? Personally, I think anyone in any profession making above and beyond their living expenses should consider giving to charities and investing in their communities.

It’s God who builds the church, if you want to be technical about it. Ministers are the ones who spread the word, but it is God who makes it grow. (Assuming it’s a healthy church, whatever that means.)

marinelife's avatar

I think it varies a lot by the church. No, they should not skim money off the top.

Most congregations know exactly how much the minister spends because his salary is a church expense as is his housing.

perspicacious's avatar

I don’t think you actually know many ministers. Perhaps the extent of your personal knowledge comes from TV.

YARNLADY's avatar

All of my Uncles are church pastors, and I can assure you that your information is not consistent with their reality.

I’m curious, what do you think the money collected is supposed to be spent for? The business of the church is to promote religion, and the way that is done is to pay the ministers a living wage, and a place to live. The money is also used for the maintenance of the building and land.

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