On poor Christian leaders…

It has happened again.  I was going through some survey feedback and someone said, “You are too expensive for a Christian business.”
Really?  What is that suppose to mean?
By saying anything is too expensive for being a Christian business, you are implying that “Christian” anything should be cheaper, more affordable or less expensive.

But why?  Why do people have this expectation that Christian stuff should be cheaper?

I have also heard a lot of people I know complain about tithing.

“They just EXPECT me to give them MY money?  It is my money, and they are a church.”

What is that suppose to mean?  Name me ONE other service in your life where you can walk in, expect the service people to me ALL of your needs and you pay nothing?  Oh yeah, there are none, because they do not exist.  How much you feel you need to tithe is between you and God.  But it is hard for me to imagine that you go to church every week and God says, “Just leave, give them nothing, that’s totally awesome.”

Three things:

Thing one:

Churches are a business.  Well, not exactly.  But keeping up a church involves many of the same things need to keep a business up.  Many church services exist in buildings that must be maintained.  Maintaining a building involves: rent fees, maintenance fees, upkeep, electricity bills, water bills, etc.  Buildings are managed by people: secretaries, maintenance, treasurers, etc.  Church services – be they Sunday service or extra-curricular – are run by people.  People – need – money – to live.  People want so badly to believe that churches are run on some type of magic where they can survive simply off of wishful thinking.  But, well, that just isn’t true.  Churches – need – money – to exist.

Thing two:

At the end of the day, whether you like it or not, we live in a capitalist economy.  And even in a socialist economy, things still get paid for via taxes.  So if you want a good or service, you have to pay for it.  I get that things are tight and money as tight and – let’s be honest – you are really cheap.  How do I know you are cheap?  I know you are cheap because I work in market research, where the bottom line is the only thing that matters.  You, my dear consumer, are cheap, cheap, cheap, cheap, cheap.  You want everything for the cost of nothing – including any “Christian” service.

Thing three:

I am quite sick of the expectation that those who are Christian servants should be very poor and suck it up.  I have heard people use the “they are servants of Christ” to justify paying people WAY less than they deserve.  Christian professors get paid way less because they are “doing God’s work.”  Missionaries, pastors, priests, nuns… they are expected to live, eat, and take care of their families – all while serving dozens of people – making below poverty line wages.

“Well, God calls his servants to give up earthly goods and just be poor.”  If you think about it, we are all called to do God’s work and to serve God’s people.  So if you give me that thinking, then it is fair for me to expect that you should live sparsely as well.

The thing is, excluding those rare tv pastors who rake in money, I don’t know a single pastor or pastor’s family who lives above the median income.  Every single pastor I know – by government definition – is poor.  Which means, my dear church-goers, you are living every day of your life okay with that fact that the person you want to serve you at your wedding, your funerals, your family’s funeral, and basically – every beck and call moment of you life – sometimes doesn’t have enough money to: pay rent, buy groceries or even buy clothing.

That, to me, is wrong.  The fact that people expect someone to be at their beck and call, but then give them nothing for it – is not right.

Pastors and missionaries don’t need to be millionaires, but neither do you!  They do, however, deserved to have enough money to take care of their needs.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s