My Pastor & My Money!

I’ll probably get roasted for this but what needs to be said, need to be said.
We get carried away by so many things in the 21st century Pentecostal Christian community and the earlier we realize how much we’re hurting ourselves the better.
The subject of money and giving has been a controversial issue within the church.

Perhaps it’s because church members feel ripped off when they see their leaders driving the latest cars, living in mansions, vacationing in choice countries and their kids getting educated in expensive schools. Church members wonder why they have to pay for their pastor’s expensive lifestyle while they struggle to make ends meet.


Of course the go-to argument or rationale here is that the more you give to your pastor, the more ‘blessings’ come your way. And there is actually a precedent set in the bible!
Check this out:

Galatians 6: 6 (NLT)

“Those who are taught the word of God should provide for their teachers, sharing all good things with them.”

1 Timothy 5:17-25 (NLT)

“Elders who do their work well should be respected and paid well,[a]especially those who work hard at both preaching and teaching. 18 For the Scripture says, “You must not muzzle an ox to keep it from eating as it treads out the grain.” And in another place, “Those who work deserve their pay!”

You see, when we read the words of Apostle Paul to the early church, we must read with an understanding of the background and the times when those letters were written. The early churches were under immense persecution and there was no church administration like we have now. But they had a fluid structure that worked.

Church elders/deacons were appointed by the apostles (See Acts 6:2-5), and teachers were often times apostles or elders who traveled from location to location (a lot of times, across continents) preaching and meeting with the community of Christians along the way. As a result, most of them have to be accommodated, fed and provided for by their host Christian community. (See Acts 11:19 -23).

In Philippians chapter 2 (from verse 25) Paul wrote a glowing recommendation of a man called Epaphroditus who traveled and preached so much he got sick and almost died. Paul actually said he risked his life! Such men were provided for on their journeys.

How does this relate to us 21st century church? Of course our needs have changed. Quite a number of pastors have secular jobs and businesses and they do not go on missionary journeys. (When was the last time your church commissioned missionaries to countries and rural communities to start churches?)

One more important thing to note in the early church is that, the leaders were sensitive to the needs of the people and they did all they could not to overburden them financially. Check this:

2 Thessalonians 3: 7-9 (NLT)

 “For you know that you ought to imitate us. We were not idle when we were with you. 8 We never accepted food from anyone without paying for it. We worked hard day and night so we would not be a burden to any of you. We certainly had the right to ask you to feed us, but we wanted to give you an example to follow.”

I’m laying all these foundation because over the years, I have seen Christians get swindled out of their hard-earned money to cater to the whims of men who use the bible as a tool for bullying.

If your pastor has no other job but administering the affairs of the church, caring for the members, preaching and teaching, it’s certainly biblical to make sure his needs are met.

While I was growing up, my grandmother was the matron at the village ECWA church. (ECWA means Evangelical Church Of West Africa). The church board of elders determined the pastor’s salary and provided housing and other allowances as needed. Offerings and tithes records were kept and those in charge were held accountable.

In fact, quarterly reports were made available and I remember the church treasurer regularly came up to read out to the members exactly how much had been raised, how much had been spent and for what purpose. There was accountability! Members knew what their money was being used for and the pastors did not live above their means.

These days, a few ‘privileged insiders’ know exactly what is going on and you can see them. They are the senior pastors who live as lavishly as the G.O or Founder or Reverend or Bishop or whatever title the Senior Boss has been given.

These days, our pastors are surrounded by PA, Special Assistants, Special Ushers, Body guards and even police escorts. Members brag about how ‘blessed’ and rich their pastors are, while living from hand to mouth.

Along came the Partner’s Principle. The church creating a special set of people committed to sponsoring church projects and inevitably, Pastor’s enjoyment of life.  In some churches, these partners are treated to special conferences (I attended several actually) where awards are given to the highest donors and more sermons donation inspiring motivational speeches are given.

These ‘partners’ are told they are more blessed than the regular members and guess what? To even attend the conference, you must have given up to a certain amount. The weeks leading up to the partner’s conference, regular members are bombarded with not so subtle messages to contribute more money so they can gain access and join this ‘elite group’. How sad.

Oh along came the Birthday principle. Why should church members be put under pressure to donate for their Pastor’s birthday? I totally understand the desire to honor and celebrate someone who has blessed you but these days, church members are put under undue pressure. Church volunteer groups (Ushers, Choir, Bible study groups, e.t.c) are given financial targets to donate. Why?

When I was in the University and involved in the campus fellowship system, I witnessed brainwashed young people giving their school fees to the campus pastor in the name of ‘sowing dangerous seed’. I also saw those same students running helter-skelter when registrations are about to close and they haven’t gotten the ‘miraculous blessing’ they were promised.

Did Christians give away their money and sell their possessions in the bible? Yes! Why? Check this:

Acts 4:32-35 (NLT)

“All the believers were united in heart and mind. And they felt that what they owned was not their own, so they shared everything they had. 33 The apostles testified powerfully to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and God’s great blessing was upon them all. 34 There were no needy people among them, because those who owned land or houses would sell them 35 and bring the money to the apostles to give to those in need.”

Check out verse 34 – THERE WERE NO NEEDY PEOPLE AMONG THEM. Why? Because the Apostles shared everything equally!

Why didn’t the apostles have the best share and claim that ‘since they were the leaders, they have to show by example of how lavishly they live, how rich and prosperous God is?’  Since that is what our 21st century pastors are preaching!

Take a look at your pastor. Where does his personal business end and the church business start? What business or businesses does he own? If he is the CEO of the church’s business enterprises – schools, publishing, hospitals, Media organisations, restaurants, hotels, event centres (Oh yes! Some churches do have them) How much does he earn as salary? Who audits these accounts? Do these secular businesses pay taxes?

The church-funded NGOs and other non-profit humanitarian projects, who audits their accounts? Since these projects are largely funded by donations from church members, are the members given information about how their money is being spent? Who and who sits on the board of these NGOs?

How many staff members are employed by the church admin? What is their salary structure?

I once spoke to a couple of staff members of a mega-church and guess what? Their salary had not been paid for over 6 months!

Dear Christians, it’s time to stop being so gullible. Seek answers. Unlike what your pastor has told you, you have the right to ask questions. Take time to study OUTSIDE OF WHAT YOU ARE BEING FED EVERY SUNDAY. Most importantly, seek God PERSONALLY. He will open your heart and teach you himself. I can say this because I have been there. I have been in the system and God helped me to see clearly. He can help you too. (If you are willing to seek out the truth)

I am not against giving. After all, it’s a godly character and principle. But i am against deliberate misinformation from people who have been charged with the responsibility of taking care of God’s people. Your giving should not be by compulsion. You should not have to be manipulated to give.

I leave you with the words of Apostle Paul

1 Timothy 6: 2-10 (MSG)

2-5 These are the things I want you to teach and preach. If you have leaders there who teach otherwise, who refuse the solid words of our Master Jesus and this godly instruction, tag them for what they are: ignorant windbags who infect the air with germs of envy, controversy, bad-mouthing, suspicious rumors. Eventually there’s an epidemic of backstabbing, and truth is but a distant memory. They think religion is a way to make a fast buck.

6-8 A devout life does bring wealth, but it’s the rich simplicity of being yourself before God. Since we entered the world penniless and will leave it penniless, if we have bread on the table and shoes on our feet, that’s enough.

9-10 But if it’s only money these leaders are after, they’ll self-destruct in no time. Lust for money brings trouble and nothing but trouble. Going down that path, some lose their footing in the faith completely and live to regret it bitterly ever after.

 

 

 

 

 

13 Replies to “My Pastor & My Money!”

  1. That’s well said fola,Christians should come to understand God in a personal level and not being deceived by the false prophets we have around. We are at the end time God says he will pour out his spirit upon us. let’s seek him and he will surely do that.

  2. Fola, in spite of my busy schedule i took time out to carefully and succinctly go through your post and i have to draw this conclusion that, it was not only timely but also, well conceitedly said! Brothers and Sisters be guided!

  3. In as much as we fail to understand the workings of the spirit, the standings of our beliefs and the process of our convictions, this trend would continue. Our generation is bewitched by spiritual naijabet drop 100 get 25 million. We believe once we sow into the lives of our pastors our problems are ended. Though we shouldn’t push aside the place of sowing into the lives of our pastors as you have said. The higher percentage of those who have bastardized the journey shouldn’t make us lose sight of the promise for those who do. Rightly said my General Overseer.

  4. Fola, I really appreciate you. Thank you for the time and effort to get this off your chest. I have same comers and I have been encouraging many to many to check through the scriptures and compare what they hear on Sunday versus The Word of God.

    Another major concern I have for some years now is how our very informed and brilliant pastor can miss out this part of the scripture Deut 14:21-29 with emphasis on 25 and 26:

    25 Then shalt thou turn it into money, and bind up the money in thine hand, and shalt go unto the place which the LORD thy God shall choose:

    26 And thou shalt bestow that money for whatsoever thy soul lusteth after, for oxen, or for sheep, or for wine, or for strong drink, or for whatsoever thy soul desireth: and thou shalt eat there before the LORD thy God, and thou shalt rejoice, thou, and thine household,

    That your tithe is not actually in money but to buy whatever your heart desires and share it with the people of God.

    Please read that part of the scripture before you agree or disagree with this instruction. I’ve have been doing my part by paying my tithe that same way and not in cash. When we do this everyone in the church will have more than enough as a scripture you quoted Act 4:34,35.

    Please wake up Christian Soldiers!!!

  5. So you clearly spoke against christ embassy. Folks have a problem when giving I big, but are comfortable when it is paltry sum. I would have preferred you to state your stand for or against giving, not big giving and small giving.

    Also, if you took out time to win souls for jesus it would have been better. Rather than correcting theological “errors” you feel is in the body of christ. Everybody is now the best teacher or christian who knows the best thing to do…..pathetic!

  6. It’s painful and sad how gullible and close minded we can be. This article hits right at facts which are true in today’s Christian churches. Ask questions. Demand answers. Be wise!

  7. My dear, don’t fight God’s battles for him. He hasn’t changed from being the same God that dealt with Ananias and Sapphira. Giving these days is a challenge for some especially when you consider the tricks some christian leaders use to get into our pockets. This coupled with the personal lifestyles of some of our Christian leaders… another story all together.

    My resolve is that my giving is to God, it is between me and Him. I don’t joke with my giving – when I get paid, I do not spend a dime until my tithe is out of my account. I also set aside my offerings and always pray to God to increase my giving. I do this as an acknowledgement of God’s provisions.

    Now, it hasn’t always been this way with me and I struggled with questioning what my offerings were done with as well as auditing my pastors lifestyle. But, to be very clear with myself, those actions made me an uncheerful giver.

    I believe that this issue will only rest when we understand the true workings of our heavenly father. This can only be achieved by our having a personal, very personal relationship with God.

    Be encouraged and never forget that our giving is to God, he sees ALL and no one can rob him and get an easy pass.

  8. Personally, I think giving is a personal thing and should be encouraged among Christians. But then also, giving in the right attitude is important and that is where we have a great challenge. Most times, especially in this part of the world, we give as if it’s a money-doubling enterprise, giving in order to receive a ‘harvest’ and become disillusioned when it doesn’t come as we expect.
    Secondly, I give TO GOD! I don’t think it’s my place to start scrutinizing my Church administration on what they did with the money I gave. If I think they’re misusing the funds or my spirit doesn’t accept their practice I can of course go elsewhere. If I believe they are called and sent to me by God, let their boss(God) deal with their issues, it’s not my place. Because once I start that scrutiny, there’s a likelihood that my heart won’t be perfect again in my giving and each time there’s a call to give I’ll be like ‘so they’ll misuse my money again’? That could end up affecting my faith towards God.
    Thirdly, in the places I’ve been, most pastors don’t live from the regular giving you see in church. I’m a leader in my assembly, my dad is a Pastor in another denomination so I’m talking from experience. There are specific giving that some members make to their pastors that’s not even solicited for, and most times, it’s heavy. My dad pastors a ‘small, rural’ assembly and its the same there. You can’t even refuse those giving because you don’t know the deal between that person and God. So you accept and pray for them.
    My Senior Pastor always tell our Pastors: don’t live on your members. If you depend on your members for your sustenance, you’ll fail. The bible is the same for both pastors and members… Of course there are those pastors that task their members, but they’re exceptions, not the rule.

    In conclusion, I think Christians should be taught more about this giving thing. Giving is not out of compulsion. Actually, according to the Bible, if you give with a wrong mindset you might not receive a blessing. Also, like the mention about people giving their school fees etc, my Pastor has taught us the monies we can give. As a student, it’s you ‘pocket money’ that you can give, not your school fees cuz that’s not your money…

    These are my thoughts/experiences

  9. Waoh!. I’m literally filled with info than I can digest.
    Kudos to FOLA. Quite brilliant writeup you got there.
    I attend two churches originally on sundays . then other churches when I can. The second church is attended for personal profit. (Harvesters Int.Christ ian Centre.) I rarely pay offeri g there. Cuz I wud av done that in my birth Church. And I’m being reluctant sometimes cuz they place emphasis on offering like that’s all there is to coming to church.
    Sometimes I feel like I’m being bewitched…. whenever I’m heading there immediately my church closes…

    I’m might eventually stop going to church altogether cuz of this offering thing and maybe adopt the islamic way of giving to God. Bazaar..

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