I recently learned of one of the local black churches in our community making a very good financial offer to an individual to become Pastor of their church. The individual, if I am not mistaken, turned down the offer because the money was not high enough. I subsequently made a statement to a fellow preacher, that, “money should never be a determining factor in deciding where to preach or where to pastor.” The preacher replied, “money is always a determining factor for preachers and pastors.”
When looking over the landscape of churches, I have found there is a distinct difference in thought when it comes to money between white and black churches. But allow me to preface what I am about to say with what the Word of God says.
I Timothy 3:3 and Titus 3:7 says one of the requirements of being a preacher or pastor is to not be greedy for money. In fact, I Timothy 3:8 says one of the requirements of being a deacon in the church is to also, not be greed for money. Titus 1:10-11 says those who preach or teach the Word of God cannot do so for the sake of money. I Peter 5:2 says Pastors are to feed the flock and take oversight of the flock, willing, but not for dishonest gain or filthy lucre.
In the majority of white churches, Pastors are paid very well, with the understanding they are to be at the church 5-6 days a week so as to always be available to their flock and the community they serve. They also accept the reality they cannot maintain any other job outside of the church if they are being paid a full-time salary by the church.
In the majority of black churches, Pastors are also paid very well, but they only show up on Sundays and one night during the week for bible study. Unlike white pastors, black pastors often have full time jobs outside of the church, which precludes them from being as effective as God wants them to be to their congregations and the communities they serve.
The main reasons for this discrepancy between white and black churches is that white churches hold their pastors to a higher standard of accountability than black churches. In addition, black churches hold up their pastors up as gods, while white churches hold up their pastors as simply believers who have the gifts and skills to pastor and preach.
Paul once told the churches he started, “I will not allow you to make me rich!” That is why he told both Timothy and Titus that no one in the church should be preaching for money or filthy lucre.
Many have forgotten that it is an honor and privilege for God to have called you to preach and give His word to His people. And if God has truly called you, then you must know by faith, that God will take care of all of your needs. God also knows that if any so called preacher or Pastor is working primarily for money then their preaching and teaching of His word will be compromised.
The bible says the love of money is the root of all evil. I submit to you that the love of money among pastors and preachers is the root of all delusion in the church. That is why some churches are functioning purely on vanity and entertainment. That is why some churches are operating with a diluted truth of God’s word. That is why so many are preaching and pastoring without being called to do so by God. And most of all, that is why we have so many preachers and pastors in generally. That is why we have so many getting degrees because it is a means of getting more money. That is why we have so many enlarging their titles, because it is a means of getting more money. That is why so many stay where they are, despite having the knowledge that their church or denomination is all about raising money. And maybe, just maybe, the black community is so far behind despite all the gains in civil rights, justice and a vibrant economy.
Gilbert Owens is a resident of Roseboro and guest columnist for The Sampson Independent.