Should a pastor give?

By Bob Bickford

The economic challenges of pastoring can be great. Many of those who pastor full time do so at compensation rates which falls below their level of education and financial needs. In a few churches, some congregational leaders wrongly assert that it’s important to keep the pastor humble and needy and to that end pay a meager salary with little to no benefits. This doesn’t many any sense and has no biblical justification. These folks would never advocate for their son if he was a pastor nor their daughter if she was married to a pastor.

When newly married and before children arrive, living on a low salary may seem like a small issue but when the pastor’s family grows, as he ages, as thoughts of college for the kids and savings for retirement make a small salary a concerning matter.

The pastor and his wife may hold the personal conviction that the home is her workplace and that she be available to assist with ministry as needed and as she desires. These convictions lead to certain financial realities that will have to be faced, prayerfully, with wisdom and care.

It is not uncommon to discover a pastor who entertains or adopts this line of thinking: “Since I get paid so little and give so much, I don’t have to give financially to the church.”  This leads to the pastor giving little or giving nothing in the way of tithes and offerings. Sadly, I’ve heard this reason given and defended and accepted by pastor and congregation within the last year.

Honestly, the logic in this makes about as much sense as a pastor thinking that because he reads his bible in preparing for sermons he preaches he need not read it personally. Since he prays corporately and at other gatherings he need not pray personally. You get the idea.

Should a Pastor give to the church he serves?

Paul in his letter to the young pastor Timothy writes: set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, and in purity.  1 Timothy 4:12

This passage indicates that those who shepherd the congregation are charged with leading by example in several areas that relate to giving: conduct, faith, love and purity.

  • Conduct: the act of giving as a form of worship and obedience
  • Love: giving because of love for God, Jesus, the Church and the mission
  • Faith: realizing that giving requires faith-for God to meet personal needs that would be taken care of by resources that have been given to him
  • Purity: living a life that demonstrates consistency and honesty-a life and teaching that backs up what it proclaims to be true.

Should the Pastor of the Church give to his church?  

Yes, without question.

Published May 30, 2017

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Bob Bickford

Bob Bickford is a Replant Pastor in suburban St. Louis, serves as the Associate Director of Replant for the North American Mission Board and is the co-author of Am I a Replanter,  Pathways to Partnership and the Associational Replanting Guide. Follow Bob on twitter @bobick