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Friday, February 17, 2006

Church Salaries

In my current search for a ministerial position, like never before, finances have played a larger role. Perhaps because they have not played as big a role in the past, it has become necessary for them to be addressed more definitively.

However, it is interesting that some of the churches that contact me have given information about their financial provisions. Wow!

Now, I realize that there are people who actually survive and maintain families for what seem less than adequate amounts of money. In these cases, though, I would guess there is a shortfall somewhere - most likely in health insurance. It does seem that churches should desire that their pastors and ministerial staff (as well as other paid staff) not just get by but that they be cared for. Churches should not want their staff to spend so much time worrying about finances that they can't lavish their attention on the people. Seems a no-brainer.

Why then, do so many churches seem to believe that the minister's wife should work in order for his needs to be met? It seems that churches who hold to scripture and usually believe that the husband is head of the household and should provide for his own, should provide for their staff ministers at a level that shows that it is not necessary for his wife to have to work outside the home in order for them to pay their bills.

Why can't churches just be honest? If they cannot pay a worthy amount to the man who is worthy of his hire, why don't they admit that theirs is a part-time or bi-vocational position? Then perhaps, the members of the church could help their ministers find other jobs that fit their unique abilities to supplement the church salary.

Also, it was pointed out to me how unfair the church is to the wife in expecting her to work outside the home. They not only expect her to work outside the home to help meet their financial shortcomings, they also expect her to work inside the church (usually for free). And, they expect her to be an example of a perfect wife, mother, and homemaker to the other ladies in the church. Shame, shame!

So, here is to churches adequately and honestly providing for those who serve them. And, here is to ministers who recognize that their wives are being abused and seek to put a stop to it.

Blessings all.