There was a time when gospel preachers didn’t preach for large amounts of money, but rather to save many souls. Denominational preachers have always preached for large amounts of money in order to become rich. Sadly, church of Christ preachers are leaning in that direction. Did you know that some gospel preachers in the Lord’s church are making as much if not more than 130,000 dollars per year? Did you know that they are paid according to the educational level? Did you know many gospel preachers make a large salary from the church and also have a secular job as well?
In the liberal churches, preachers receive their salaries directly from the church which is controlled by the eldership. In the conservative churches, most preachers received a base salary from the local church and also obtain money from other churches and individuals. Some of this is unregulated.
Now, let’s make one thing perfectly clear, preachers have the right to be paid (1 Cor 9:14). However, if they already have a means of support from a secular job, as did the apostle Paul (tent maker), then by all rights they should not become a burden of the church (1 Cor 9:18). If a preacher wants to get a doctorate degree and become a professor at a university, then by all means do so, but don’t be burdening the church for another salary when you don’t need the money.
I recently heard of a gospel preacher in Tennessee who was making 120,000 dollars from the church each year. He also was making over 168,000 from a local university. His wife also was a secondary school teacher making a salary over 60,000 per year. Pure greed! What is worse is that the average member of that congregation was on social security and making far less than 31,000 dollars per year. Did you know that the median income in the state of Tennessee is approximately 42,000 per year? Did you know the median income in all of America is 52,000 per year? This particular preacher is making 5 times more than the average wage earner who is paying his salary. Shameful!
Paul robbed other churches in order to preach free to other churches who could not afford to pay him. Preachers today rob churches in order to fill their pockets. What an indictment on those who we are trusting to teach us the truth. The truth is, they are the ones who are stealing from the Lord’s church!
The good news is that there are many qualified men who are ready, willing, and able to preach and teach God’s Word for free. Yes, FREE! Remember this, the gospel and doctrine of Christ is so easy, even a 5th grader could understand it and even preach it. You don’t need an over qualified man with a doctorate degree to preach to you the simple gospel of Christ. Remember, God hid the truth from the wise and prudent and revealed it to the simple, for so it seemed good in His sight (Mt 11:25,26). Think on these things the next time you hear that your congregation doesn’t have enough money to help the needy saints because most of their money is going to just one man__your preacher!
Stop paying preachers an excessive amount of money to preach to you what you want to hear as opposed to what you need to hear. Preachers, remember this, the love of money is the root of all evil (1 Tim 6:10)! Stop preaching for the love of money and start preaching for the saving of souls (Jam 5:19,20). Stop tickling the ears of loop-legged Christians for larger salaries, and start preaching the truth in and out of season no matter the salary (2 Tim 4:2-5). Remember the admonition of Paul to a young Timothy, “ Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows (1 Tim 6:6-10). In the end of all things, I can’t tell you who is taking too much money to preach God’s Word, but I know someone who can. We will all meet Him come the day of judgment.