One-question church ministry staff survey

Here’s the question:

If you are a pastor, worship leader or staff member who receives a paycheck for your service to your congregation, would you try to find a way to do your job if the paycheck evaporated?

There are some of you who’ve planted churches or started ministries, and you know what it like to do ministry AND be a barista. There are others who’ve been a part of churches who’ve experienced internal problems, and the offering doesn’t cover the cost of your rented elementary school gymnasium, much less this month’s apartment rent. You guys don’t have to answer the question. You already have.
When the rest of us who aren’t employed by a church have a boss who is unable to pay us, we pack up our desk, head over to the unemployment office, and slap a resume on monster.com as fast as we can. But the rules are completely different when it comes to ministry positions.
Or are they? Would you do what the church is paying you to do for free?

About Michelle Van Loon
  • Eric Nygren

    Great question. I know there have been many times where I’ve found so much joy in what I do that I’ve said to myself, “I can’t believe I get paid to do this!” (Of course in the honest moments we pastors sometimes think our time is worth a lot more.)

    I would love to think that I would do this for free. The thing is I’ve got a wife and two (going on three) kids along for the ride. Their basic needs must be met, no questions asked. If that’s not possible then the situation would be a lot different.

    In all honesty I’ve never really worried about the “what if” question. For one, if anything were to happen to us any one of our church family would be there to take care of us. I know this because I’ve already seen it happen.

    But even more, God is sovereign. I am wholly convinced that God brought us here. He will supply all of our needs. We’re not going anywhere until He tells us to move on, He kicks us out, we die, or Christ returns.

  • Michelle Van Loon

    First of all, “going on three” merits a huge CONGRATS!

    I appreciate your priorities as well as your response to the question. You are where you’re called to be, and your trust of both God and your church family is beautiful.

  • L.L. Barkat

    I’m not sure I’m qualified to answer the question. I coordinate some programs at my church, without pay, and I’m fine with that. Then again, I have salary from other sources. Now, if the joy evaporated, perhaps I’d pack it in. :)

  • Michelle Van Loon

    What a great line!


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