Author, Producer, Talk Show Host and Pastor of a mega-church in Texas, Bishop TD Jakes says “Pastors are expected to do a lot while surviving on crumbs”.  Wow, what a statement!  Bishop Jakes goes on to say, pastors are overworked, underpaid and discouraged by the reaction of some members when they fall short.  While I am trying to understand the premise of Bishop Jake’s comments, I can’t help but ask “when will enough be enough”?  The last time I checked preaching and pastoring is a calling not a career.  Or is it?

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When I hear pastors speak about being called to the ministry, called to preach, called to pastor people all over the world, I never hear them follow-up those statements with “only if the money is right”.  I can only imagine that being a pastor of a mega-church comes with mega-responsiblity and can sometimes make any man or woman feel like they are way over their head and that this pastoring thing is out of their league.  That’s why only few are called!  Weddings, funerals, counseling, preaching and shaking hands at the end of the service was, is and will always be a part of the deal when you sign up.  While the ultimate goal of any pastor is to pack the church every Sunday with overflow, some find it hard to handle once the goal is reached.   All I can say is “God Up” and take it like a man or woman.

But life is about choices and we all have options, so when it becomes too much for any pastor to carry or bear the burden put upon them by God, then your option can be to find several seats and sit down.  Become a part of the congregation and get to know the members of your church.  But then you would have to give up the power and perks of being the senior pastor of a mega-church; and truth be told, most would rather cut off an ear before giving up leadership over tens of thousands.  It is truly disheartening to hear any pastor called by God to preach talk about being overworked and underpaid when members of your church, serving in ministry are overworked and never paid.

With that said, most mega-churches have a host of associate pastors, ministers, deacons, trustees and administrative staff on payroll to fill in and stand in the gap.  While smaller churches may not be able to bank roll a staff, they have a host of members willing to help whenever and wherever there is a need.  So how can the pastor be so overworked and for mega-church pastors, how can they be underpaid?  As for being discouraged because of reactions from your congregation when you fall short, members experience the same discouragement from the pastor when they fall short.

Unfortunately, when members fall short or something in their life goes wrong, they are removed from leadership positions, told to sit down from ministries, fired from staff jobs and even worst alienated by leadership and other members, and they do what they do for free.

So at the end of the day, my only question; “if pastors are surviving on crumbs, then what is the congregation surviving on after they give their 10% to the church?

Opinion:  The Church Lady

Source:  The Root

Photo Credit:  Radio One

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