Matthew 7:15 (NIV) “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.

Matthew 24:11: (NIV) “…and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people.”

2 Timothy 2:23 - 25 (NIV) - 23Again I say, don’t get involved in foolish, ignorant arguments that only start fights. 24 A servant of the Lord must not quarrel but must be kind to everyone, be able to teach, and be patient with difficult people. 25 Gently instruct those who oppose the truth. Perhaps God will change those people’s hearts, and they will learn the truth.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Since you mentioned the budget, pastor....

Pastor Mac Brunson, this past Sunday you mentioned to your FBC Jacksonville church family and your high schoolers in the choir loft that you are carefully reviewing our church budget. That is good. We are glad that you and others are carefully reviewing the church budget; in fact you didn't need to tell us, we assumed you were doing it already. Out of the many budget items you are undoubtedly reviewing, you felt the need to comment Sunday night that you believe it not a good investment of resources to send the kids on reward trips. Thanks for telling us. Since you brought up the "budget" and one of the areas we need to cut, let's talk about one other budget item.

Church, how much would your pastor have to make in salary before you would be concerned that it was not a wise use of church resources? I know, "Pastor salary is a private matter and nobody's business." you say. Yes we have committees that determine this sort of thing and they take care of it on our behalf....keep in mind committees NOT chosen by you and me, average church members, but committees chosen by who?

But just humor me a bit: really now, since Mac brought up the budget Sunday night....how much salary would your pastor and his wife have to be earning from the church budget (tithes and offerings), before you would consider it an unwise use of church funds? Is it $175,000? $200,000? $300,000? $400,000? $450,000? What about $500,000? What is your number that you would feel uncomfortable with? What "gifts and perks" would have to be given to the pastor in addition to salary that would make you uncomfortable? Remember church member , you are the steward of everything God has blessed you with. Do you not feel that you are responsible for ensuring your tithes and offerings are used wisely by decision makers in your church? You have been told by this pastor and will be in the next few weeks that you are just responsible for BRINGING the tithe, and that this is obedience is all God expects, and you are to give the tithe regardless of how it is spent. "Hogwash" as my daddy used to say. We should always be concerned, and we should be increasingly concerned about finances as we see OTHER areas that we are concerned about. It stands to reason that leaders making unwise decisions in other areas of the church will likely make unwise decisions in finances.

On the basis of reliable sources, we know what the pastor makes in salary from the church budget. Its an obscene amount. Its not a "double portion" for "double honor"...its much more than that. We know what was promised the pastor when he came. Its obscene by any standard of an average sensible member of the church.

So as the pastor preaches on stewardship this month, be thinking of what number YOU would have to hear before you would be upset at your finance, personnel, and pastor search committees....then stay tuned....and get your "Chest of Joash" card ready so you can increase your giving this coming year to compensate for the pastor's salary.