As per usual, money seems to be playing a big issue in some decisions my wife and I have to make regarding our future. While this is true in our lives as individuals who live in a society where money matters, should this also be the case for worshipping communities? I understand that those communities are also under the same constraints as us as individuals when it comes to living in the world but are the methodologies employed by worshipping communities good for them? It seems that everyone these days is speaking up and asking why we need buildings and paid church workers and my voice is among them. Blogger Dave Fitch posted regarding this topic and I think he gets it right. 


Here is his blog reposted from http://www.reclaimingthemission.com

When it Comes to the Ministry – Money changes everything

Money change things. And so when we pastors accept money from our churches to do ministry it changes everything. This is to say the obvious. Right? More specifically, when we pastors accept money from the church:
1.) We as pastors(s) now have to worry about the income flowing into the bank account every Sunday. We have to have a responsible eye for the budget.  Which means you have to worry about people with big pockets being “happy” with your church. There is a dynamic set in place that changes what we say, how we interpret ministry, how we challenge our selves and community towards mission. Often, this dynamic stalls mission in the local church.
2.) We as pastors now come under performance review. Money changes the relationship between the pastor(s) and the rest of the congregation. There is now the inescapable reality that the pastor is being paid to provide something, some basic goods and services for Christians or maybe some growth in the bottom line for the church. The relationship between the congregation and pastors takes on the character of performance reviews. As a result, pushing the church outward where time and effort does not produce such measurables  gets thwarted. As a result, mission is stalled, even thwarted in this mindset.
3.)We as pastors begin to look at people differently – as viable “giving units.” A business mindset starts to take over the church. This dynamic undercuts and stalls mission  for obvious reasons and must be fought at all costs.
I contend however that all of the above does not mean pastors should never be paid. I even suggest there are many times when it is appropriate for pastors to be paid full time. I also contend that there must be ministry accountability within the leadership of the church. I contend however than in all this, the dynamics outlined above should be fought with all our might if we would shape communities of Christ’s people into mission.

What do you think? What is the role of money? I know its an inescapable fact of reality but are there better ways of using our resources in a worshipping community so that others might benefit and we might not be constrained? Lets talk.

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