« Ministry: Fun Factor vs. Fear Factor | Main | The "Pastor's Discount" »

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Mark Driscoll on Paying Pastors

PaycheckMark Driscoll of Mars Hill Church recently preached a sermon on I Corinthians 9:1-18 on how to compensate pastors. Mark says:  For some reason, pastoral ministry remains for some a glowing, naive, dreamy life idealized as hours of Bible reading, prayer walks with Jesus, and days spent singing worship songs and smiling. But being a pastor is the spiritual equivalent of being a kamikaze pilot...

Here were his three main points:

Principle #1:
A pastor is not worth respect unless he produces results

Principle #2:
A pastor worth respect is worth a decent wage

Principle #3:
Sometimes a pastor lays aside his wage for the sake of the gospel

It's a very interesting presentation... you can find a pdf of Mark's outline and thoughts here; and there's also a podcast and video of the service available at the Mars Hill website.

Any thoughts?

Add Your Comments and Ideas now...
Pass this post on to a friend now...
Subscribe to RSS Feed | Get Email Notifications on New Posts

June 13, 2006 | Permalink

First Name:
Email:
 

Comments

It is interesting in the pdf that he never defines what it means to "produce reults."

Posted by: eric | Jun 13, 2006 1:08:58 PM

Perhaps Driscoll doesn't define "produce results" because the results must (should) grow out of the mission and vision of the church. Our church's mission statement is "connecting people to God and one another," so I think it's fair for pastors and staff regularly be evaluated on the “results” of people newly connecting with God and one another. Right??? Obviously it is not biblical to think that pastors are hired to fulfill the mission. However, it is biblical that they are hired to equip others to do so, and it is biblical that whether or not they are doing so is evidenced by the fruit (tangible results) – see Matt 25 and Lk 19. Personally, I think that inattention to specific, tangible results is one of the biggest problems contributing to the decline of the church in North America (the only continent where Christianity is declining). Obviously, I’m happy to see “results” listed as one of Driscoll’s main points.

Wendi

Posted by: Wendi | Jun 13, 2006 1:22:42 PM

My only problem with "produce results" is that it lays the results and the blame at the feet of the pastor. I have seen too many pastors placed in churches who couldn't move those people with a bulldozer.

Mark Driscoll works in a very different church structure than many churches in the US. Most pastors have to run their ministry decisions through a church board or people who may or may not be active in ministry, but who make the decisions for the church because they have been elected. Many times, the pastor has little say-so in deciding who gets on the board and who does not.

Often "produce results" is little more than growing in numbers. But sometimes there is more going on beneath the surface.

I don't, however, mean that ministers should be able to get away with doing nothing all day. (Like writing comments on a blog).

Posted by: eric | Jun 13, 2006 3:48:20 PM

What Eric said. Plus...

~Typically, pastors inherit churches. Most don't build them from the ground up themselves like Driscoll did. Thus, it may take years for a pastor to learn the church's ways, establish trust, help work them out of current ruts, and get them to follow the vision that s/he brings to them.

~I'm reminded of Jesus' parable of seeds that are planted, but the sower has no idea how they grow. All he does is plant them. God gives growth, we are merely instruments. Now, we can be faulty instruments or inactive instruments, but God gives growth and we should focus on what God is doing rather than what we think pastors should be doing in God's stead.

Posted by: Jeff | Jun 13, 2006 6:20:48 PM

et al, I think you have said it well.

"Mark Driscoll of Mars Hill Church recently preached a sermon on I Corinthians 9:1-18 on how to compensate pastors."

Did he preach it to his people for their edification or for the edification of other unwittingly poor folk who have no clue about the pastor and the ox story?

"Mark says: For some reason, pastoral ministry remains for some a glowing, naive, dreamy life idealized as hours of Bible reading, prayer walks with Jesus, and days spent singing worship songs and smiling."

Again, for his people or other church goers who don't have a clue about what their pastor does all week?

"But being a pastor is the spiritual equivalent of being a kamikaze pilot..."

Sorry, but I don't see this at all in my ministry. Why would I load myself up with devastating bad news and then go and attack people with the object to destroy them and myself in the attack? Perchance that a man would give his life for a good man but just to throw my life into the fray without a definate outcome? Sorry.

Principle #1:
A pastor is not worth respect unless he produces results

What about the Holy Spirit being the producer of spiritual results? We Christians just don't have any respect for His work in the lives of men.

Principle #2:
A pastor worth respect is worth a decent wage

Do you really think so? Respect is a fleeting thing. Here today and gone in one fell swoop of sin. The man we hold up today maybe neck deep in sin tomorrow. Is it then worth it too?

Principle #3:
Sometimes a pastor lays aside his wage for the sake of the gospel

Oh come now, just make it easy on the church that says they can't afford a liveable wage for the pastor. The pastor may lay aside his wage, but the church should first give it to him to return it to the work of the ministry.

Posted by: Jay Gainer | Jun 13, 2006 11:53:22 PM

Somehow, Jay, I think you seem to have missed the point of Mark's message. Certainly the Spirit is ultimately responsible for the results; Mark never said anything contrary to that. But disciples of Christ will be known by their fruit - that's pretty much straight out of Jesus' mouth, and it's what Mark said in principle #1; if a pastor isn't "producing results" (i.e., bearing fruit), then you've gotta wonder if he's a disciple, and therefore worthy of respect as a disciple.

Principle 2 - you're absolutely right that respect is fleeting and that a respectable man today can fall into sin tomorrow. If that happens, then he is no longer worthy of respect and therefore no longer worthy of a decent wage. Again, Mark didn't suggest otherwise.

Principle 3 - Just because a church can't afford to pay a pastor a living wage doesn't mean the church doesn't need a pastor, it simply means the church - and the pastor - need to get creative. But if the church CAN afford to pay a pastor a living wage, and they DON'T, that's a problem. And it's a prevalent problem in America. In my observation, it's a problem on the part of church-goers who undervalue the role of the pastor and do not follow biblical principles such as Mark pointed out.

Posted by: Randy Ehle | Jun 14, 2006 2:56:51 PM

Wow, what a controversial subject! Great imput from all aspects. I've done a lot of ministry in 3rd world countries (especially in India). And it is true the office of Pastor is much more highly regarded in most other countries. There is more repect for the office itself and thus for the person fulling the office. You know, like the office of the President of the United States is a highly esteemed office. We might think more or less about the person in the office by the way they do their job! But, if the President of the U.S. showed up at my house for a visit, I would be honored because it would be the President!

And with that said listen to what Paul tells Timothy in I Timothy 5:17. "Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who work hard at preaching and teaching". So, along with the honor due the office of Pastor also comes the honor given to one who does his calling well. And no one can fulfill their calling without the leading of the Holy Spirit. Sounds like results do play a part in the mix.

Let me say that as a Pastor I pray for God's move in the lives of my people every day. I avail myself as much as I possibly can (I too work a part-time secular job since the church cannot pay me - yet.) My heart's desire is to raise up a people who are truly disciples of Jesus, sold out to Him in all aspects. How I love my job!! Sometimes I see results and it is so encouraging. Sometimes I don't see results (in the natural). But at all times I trust that the Holy Spirit is at work, confirming His promises. Especially Jesus' promise that He will build His church.

Posted by: Steve | Jun 14, 2006 5:44:54 PM

Great article. I have been preaching thru 1 Cor to my local church. I just finished 1 Corinthians 9 about a month ago. Mark could have defined the results a little better. Many people in the pews are "bottom line" oriented in their thinking. When I arrived in my present ministry, I asked the church what were the two greatest needs. They were: 1) Get more people into the church and 2) involve more of the men in ministry. That is what we did.

Respect may be fleeting in the minds of some. The office of pastor does deserve respect. I am amazed how much respect pastors get in non-Anglo communities and on the foreign mission field. When I was a soldier, I was taught to respect the rank of officers - even if the person was not worthy of my respect - as it kept order and unity. That said, those officers who did fail to maintain respect were dealt with in a military manner. The New Testament does afford the church the means to deal with pastors who fail and fall into sin.

Paul's instruction on pastors and the church should be carefully considered. He did deserve support but he based it on practicality. "We have the right to eat and drink and raise a family." The church needs to approach pastoral support with truth: "We are small and can't support you so you are free to have a fulltime job. Please minister to us and we will provide some small support." That was the approach of my first ministry - I was bivocational and they offered me mileage expenses...which I gladly accepted.

Posted by: Dan Moore | Jun 16, 2006 4:27:11 PM

I thought Driscoll was a hard core reformer. It seems to me he would need to leave the results to God.

Posted by: Greg | Jul 25, 2006 4:25:29 PM

The comments to this entry are closed.