A number of things came up yesterday, both in the comments on this blog and on another forum I frequent. I thought I would address them here today.
First off, I do believe some people need to get paid for ministry, maybe even me some day. But the criteria for me is someone who is traveling, starting and being an elder and pastor to churches all over. I do actually hope that someday I will have an RV and will travel to spend time with young churches all over the country as a guide and helper. It would be very difficult to do this and work part time, not impossible however, and I am hoping that my art work and furniture and pipe making will be my version of tent making.
Secondly, this doesn't mean you have to take a job as a construction worker, or banker. Some people like my friend Dave Andrews do "ministry" type work, which is paid work. Their second job is working in a homeless shelter, working with refugees, being a chaplain in a prison or hospital.
Thirdly, how can this work in a huge church? It can't! There shouldn't be huge churches. They by their very nature are in need of a CEO, they have the "elite" doing most of the work, and the "others" contribute only money and chores. What I am talking about is not just an economic thing for pastors, it is a re-imagining of the entire church structure. I am talking about smaller, organic groups, that may network for certain reasons, or needs.
Fourthly, if someone isn't always expected to be available at all times to do "spiritual" work, the "normal" people will have to actually use their own gifts and spiritual life.
And lastly to address my friend Simon Moyle, there are times when someone who is a spiritual leader is needed to address greater issues. I would say that these are actually second jobs, that the church may see as important, and hire people to do. For instance, a church might hire an artist to teach art to local children in the neighborhood because of school budget cuts. Or hire someone to do the cooking and organizing of a meal sharing kitchen. Or maybe even someone to address the issues of global violence.
The truth is, the church is broken and getting new better leaders is not the answer, but a re tooling of the whole structure is