Friday, March 12, 2010

Underpaid Preachers

I recently heard of a preacher or two for the Lord's church who made over $100,000 a year just as a preacher. That's impressive. I guess my first thought would have to be if that preacher and his family really need that much money a year, and I hope that the congregation puts even more towards making the Gospel available for all. Then I have to wonder if this preacher is underpaid?

Wait. A preacher makes at least $100,000 a year and I have the gall to suggest that he might be underpaid? I did indeed suggest that, but it doesn't mean what you probably think it means. At least in my mind, a preacher isn't truly paid in a check he receives every week, two weeks or month. Now don't get me wrong, congregations should support their preacher financially. It is an optional decision left up to the preacher and the congregation really, but the congregation should do what they can to financially support their preacher. I suppose we could have a full discussion about that, but I Corinthians 9 as a very good explanation of this.

Okay, so preachers should be supported financially if possible, but I know I've said that that wasn't what I was referring to earlier, so let's get to the heart of the matter. In my mind, the Gospel preacher doesn't find the true riches of his labor in a check from the treasurer, but from the growth of the congregation. Most preachers put in a lot more work than you think. The Bible classes they teach aren't just common knowledge to them, they have to study and compile the notes they use. Sermons take time to write, and are practiced and studied throughout the week. Most write a bulletin article every week and those don't just magically appear in the computer one day. No, it takes more study to produce those. That's every week too, unless someone fills in or the preacher is gone for some reason or another. On top of that, the preacher is expected to visit the sick and the shut-ins. They are expected to have families over and are expected to do the bulk of evangelism for the congregation. The thought that a preacher only works one day a week is far from the truth!

Now imagine that you've taken the time to put something together for a loved one. A husband, a wife, a child, a friend or just anyone you care about. You put time and effort into it and when it is presented to them, you just get a, "I appreciate that," and then the receiver just goes on unaffected by what you've put much effort into. I would guess that most preachers feel that way when members listen to sermons or classes or read articles that the preacher has invested his time into and walk away saying, "thanks" for it, but remaining largely unaffected or taking the time to consider the Word of God that has been taught. Not only does the preacher put time into what he does, but hopefully he puts love and concern for the souls of the world into it as well.

Where I preach, a young man will be filling in for me when my family travels to Memphis at the end of the month. When I arrived here, it was all he could do to get up and read the announcements. Now he'll be preaching the Gospel. That alone is a big "pay check" to me you might say. It lets me know that people are growing spiritually and wanting to work for the Lord. It reminds me why I chose the life I chose. No amount of money compares to being able to watch fellow Christians grow in wisdom and activity.

The next time you sit through a class or a sermon, or the next time you read and article in the church bulletin, please take time to consider how much time has been put into that. Take the time to thank him, to let him know how it helped you grow and what you've learned. Let him know just how much his work there means to you. Even if it just a few sincere words, it means a lot. Along with that, try to become more active. Get more involved with the work of the Lord in your area. Actions speak louder than words, especially to your preacher.

Please make sure that our preachers are not underpaid.

Love you all,


  1. Great post! I'll be following along and look forward to your next post.

  2. I'll amen that too. I wish more people really understood all the effort it takes to be a (good) preacher!