"...When He [Jesus] saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd." Matt 9:36

"Do not rob the poor, because he is poor... for the Lord will take up their case and plunder those who plunder them." Proverbs 22:22-23

Monday, February 15, 2010

Ed Young's "Franchise Player" View of Himself Explains Quite a Bit

While the Ed Young story is very interesting, and more is sure to be told, his story is just a symptom of a bigger problem we have in Christianity today.

That is mega church celebrity preachers who are siphoning off funds that generous Christians are giving to their church. These CEO-style, mega church preachers use this money to live a lavish, luxurious, jet-setting lifestyle building massive wealth, brand name recognition and celebrity status. And many of them do it while shamelessly telling Christians they MUST fork over 10% minimum of their income to their ministries to be in a right relationship with God. While these antics for decades were relegated to the "TV evangelists", the millionaire CEO pastor phenomenon has now crept into mainstream evangelical Christianity. And it is harming the cause of Christ as non-Christians watch these men get filthy rich off the backs of their church members, and worse they see Christians continuing to fork over their money to these mega church temples. Very much a turn-off to non-Christians who might consider becoming a Christian.

How did this happen? How did we get to this point? Take Ed Young's jet for example. If you ever wonder what kind of mindset would cause a pastor and his church board (made up of other church pastors in Young's case) to think it is a wise investment of the church member's hard-earned money to lease for themselves a luxury private jet at the cost to the church of one to two million dollars per year, you just have to watch the video below of Ed Young. It will become clear how this can happen when you listen to Ed's own words.

As you watch the video below, keep in mind the timing....it was filmed by Ed Young on May 27, 2007, just a few months AFTER the jet lease was signed and very near the time that the church took possession of the jet. It was just a few weeks AFTER this video, that as Brett Shipp reported, the jet logged a week-long trip to the Bahamas in June 2007, then another week long trip to Mexico.

In the video, Ed Young spends 10 minutes telling his audience just how incredibly difficult it is to be a pastor. I wrote an article about this video back in 2008, and I noted how his body language, his posture, his hair, everything makes it look like the man has the weight of the world on his shoulders. He talks about how taxing it is to have to speak to large audiences each week, how tough it is to lead an army of people that "you can't fire or dock their pay" (his volunteers), and then he offers this disturbing analysis:

"...and then the whole financial thing as well. We're responsible every year, we're the main one that raises money. You know I call the pastor the 'franchise player' because we're the ones who are responsible before God for raising money. Every year - we've been going here for about 17 years - and every year I've stared a lot of money in the face and I know at the end of the day its up to me to raise that money. Whether its in the early days thousands and it moved to hundreds of thousands and now its many many millions of dollars, and that's a taxing thing..."

"Franchise player"...for those of you not familiar with this term, it is used in sports to speak of the one player on a professional sports team that will be the highest paid player, with the longest contract typically, around which the rest of the team is built. He is the one that the owners believe will bring the fans in, that will sell tickets and bring in new fans and raise overall team revenue. Others on the team are brought in to support and complement this star. He is considered the most talented and demands a mammoth salary, and gets all the accolades and celebrity status and endorsements - often he is considered the "face" of the organization.

If a pastor actually views himself as the "franchise player" of the church, and the one responsible for "raising money" as Ed Young says...it stands to reason that if massive amounts of money ARE "raised" at his church, then he is responsible, he DID something. The pastor-franchise player was the money man, the go-to guy that caused the money to flow from the pockets to the plates. And why if he RAISED the money, then he should be rewarded, right? Who would argue with that? The salesman gets the commission of his sales, the CEO gets a bonus for creating shareholder wealth. And the CEO pastor gets the lavish jet.

What I come away with from this video is that Young, and other like-minded mega church pastors, believe that they are ENTITLED to the huge pay, family on staff - and perhaps even an 8-million dollar jet - because of how stressful their job is and because it is their superior leadership and speaking skills that brought the money in!

The only way this will ever be fixed, is through good old-fashioned American capitalism...Christians wising up and voting with their feet and their pocketbook - after they realize God is NOT calling them to support these temples and their rock-star preachers.


70 comments:

Lydia said...

He starts out saying that pastors have to come up with something biblical, fresh and creative for speaking engagments.

That is simply not true. A true believer just needs the Word.

I had to stop there because he views preaching as preforming to an audience. He could not be more wrong. Paul was slow of speech and not articulate as he admits. It is not the messenger, it is the Word that convicts and teaches. Not his shallow non-spiritual motivational speeches about good sex.

Ed can join the long procession of whiny pastors. The SBC is full of them.

Actually, the best thing for Ed to do is to step down, repent and become saved to the REAL Jesus Christ. But, it will not be a glamorous life.

Anonymous said...

For some reason, this guy gives me the creeps every time I see him. There is something very fake about him.

Bro./Pastor Rod H. said...

"Actually, the best thing for Ed to do is to step down, repent and become saved to the REAL Jesus Christ. But, it will not be a glamorous life."

February 16, 2010 8:43 AM


"Amen,Amen,Amen" Lydia!!!

Anonymous said...

"Ed can join the long procession of whiny pastors. The SBC is full of them."
==================================
And this is the reason they are loosing their members - Mac Brunson made a recent remark that "he wished we could all just be a pastor for one day and see how trying it is" . . I only wish he could trade places with my mate for one day as he'd never make it in the secular world of Fortune 500companies and know what the real meaning of working a 14 hour day shift 24/7 to make this kind of money.

Mac, Ed, Steve, etc are preachers who will continue to bring in the younger generation and fill up their churches but the difference is this generation is not giving give the kind of monies to support their grandiose lifestyles - they are listening to Mom & Pop.

The Country Club millionaire preachers as one says do make you want to "upchuck" . . .no I'm not jealous, my mate makes the 6 figure salary and we share abundantly, but not with the preachers who fly in private planes, eat in the upscale restarants, tours & vacations, put family & friends on payroll all at the expense of the "storehouse givers".

Now the new move we see is the abuse of spending monies in TV ads to do damage control in advertisement to try and rebuild their reputation. As the song goes, "it's a little to late",

Doug Pittman said...

I have said it for years that the ONLY difference between Actors, Professional Athletes, and many men like these and others within the Baptist Mafia, S B C, G B C - is that these men use GOD, the Bible, guilt and intimidation to obtain their wealth.

These Baptist and Evangelist now run the convention, revivals, and universities as if they are a Sports Franchise or under some kind of Team Ownership or sport's game.

They think they deserve all kinds of perks - income w benefits - for whatever financial rewards and numbers increase they bring to a local church that HIRES them.

And if you cross them....all their disciples and cult member followers attach and provoke you in ways only Satan himself can design, promote, implement and activate.

If you have not been on the inside like I was, you have not seen or heard anything!

I saw it and heard it first hand. Right Mike, Robert, Gerald, G B C, ETC.....

The Internet, The Great Equalizer

Need I say more?

Still signing my name and
Following Christ, Not Man;

Doug Pittman

Anonymous said...

I don't think Ed sits in his office with his hands clasp while laughing and evil laugh saying I got your money. It is their view of ministry. I truly believe they desire to bring people to Jesus Christ. I just think the means and mod by which we tend to do it in an effort to make it relevant to a modern culture leads to a downward spiral.

Anonymous said...

The video blog is ironic. He talks of all the things he has to do and how hard it is, yet he has time to make a video blog? Pastors typically call Sunday a workday, so they usually take another day off during the week. Our pastor said that preaching a sermon was like working an eight hour day. One of our pastors made the comment, "Follow me around for a week and that'll be the hardest eight hours you ever worked."

A truly called by God pastor will spend the majority of his time "rightly dividing the Word of Truth", not being a CEO, not reading "Christian" books written by other pastors, not facebooking, twittering, blogging, griping, complaining...

Very, very few pastors today are "in the world, not of the world."

ABR

Anonymous said...

Dr. Dog -

I believe this is just the first wave in the Evangelical Tsunami to follow.

These fat cats are circling the wagons because they know what's coming !

Be sure your sin ( arrogance and greed ) will find you out !

Anonymous said...

I like the analogy. I will willingly pay my hard earned money to see Kobe Bryant play basketball. I love the arena, the video screens, the loud music, just like I have at church. So I will willingly pay Mac Brunson to give me a history lesson, I will enjoy the video screens and video productions, and will enjoy the loud music. The difference is, the basketball owner does not tell me I am under a curse if I don't pay to see this. Or that I am obligated to give 10% of my income to the Lakers.

So if you are giving 10% to hear Mac each week. So be it. But what are you actually giving to "the Lord?" You will give an account. Paying a tithe to be entertained is not scriptural, no matter your beliefs in storehouse tithing. I would rather spend money on Jaguars tickets. At least the Weavers give millions to the community and at least many of the players are actually helping our community. What in the world is Brunson and FBC Jax doing in our community with their millions and millions of donated money?

Anyone?

P.S. - how many of you church goers can't buy Jags tickets because all or most of your discretionary income goes to Mac and the multi-million dollar budget at FBC Jax?

Maybe you should buy Jags season tickets and let mac survive on a smaller budget this year?

Go Team Teal!

Anonymous said...

"I don't think Ed sits in his office with his hands clasp while laughing and evil laugh saying I got your money. It is their view of ministry. I truly believe they desire to bring people to Jesus Christ. "

I do not know how anyone can say that if they know the real Jesus Christ.

These men are building personal kingdoms. Even if they insist they aren't, only the blind can believe them.

Anonymous said...

"I truly believe they desire to bring people to Jesus Christ."

They peddle the Gospel as merchandise... so in that way, they desire it. Would they desire it if they had to live on 40,000 grand a a year to do it with no perks?


Also, does this mean that 'good intentions' override method and outcome? Many think so.

Doug Pittman said...

Think about it.

I know for a fact many of these men now in the ministry, especially the Baptist ministry bunch, were former athletes in either the higher level schools with sports as the only way to make a name for themselves, stars of High School Sports teams, and / or Collegiate Football, Baseball. and or Basketball wannabe players.

They did not make it to that higher pay level, so what have they done? Turned to the next best thing with a crowd - Ministry!

Many have used the ministry to get themselves to the level that they could not achieve as a Sports Star or Icon, so now they use the Ministry, and in that ministry they can now feel "wanted" and "special" by using GOD, the Bible, guilt, and intimidation and to get their Earthly Rewards - just as they wanted when they played sports trying to get that attention, wealth, and "the lifestyle."

They scratch each others backs and continuously encourage the masses to " wrap and accept " themselves to whatever they and/or their buddies garbage spew out from their mouths while using the PULPITS of the church to lift themselves and their back scratching and Baptist Mafia buddies up.

This is not saying all MINISTERS do this as there are many many small church pastors who do deserve that "STANDING OVATION!"

Anyone want to challenge me on what I have posted?

My email is doug@dougpittman.com

Following Christ, Not man

Doug Pittman

Anonymous said...

I have been a member of Fellowship for 10 years. I researched the report because I believed it was important to give our pastor the benefit of the doubt.

The WFAA report was the tip of the iceberg. Sadly, everything I learned, in addition to the report was even more disturbing. Corporations(Ed Young ministries, Creality, Creative Pastors, OUI, Cg, Medill(look at the words Me-Deal) set up to funnel money to him, personally--and using us to finance his extravagance.

We gave Fellowship our tithe and our family volunteered--to help the dispossessed, the needy, and to bring others to Christ. The money my family gave was taken fraudulently by a man, and his co-conspirators, who aren't members of the church. Last week's ridiculous explanation by Ed, Mac, John (so-called board members who don't even belong to our church) solidified the original news report. We didn't help build a church because we are stupid--but Ed clearly believes we are all dummies who would never do our own checking.

Most of us have successful careers. He and his pals said they are "drenched in prayer". I found it repugnant that he and these other "pastors" said they would pray for the reporter, who exposed the truth. Then, they attempt to intimidate anyone who "believes their lying" eyes that this is the "work of the devil"

He betrayed the trust of our congregation to satisfy his gluttony need for luxury. Then used us all as "slaves", after calling us to have a "servant's heart". Where is his "servant's heart"? And for those who say he hasn't done anything illegal--Wrong! This is fraud and it violates the IRS Tax Code 501(c)(3)--self-dealing, "excess benefit transactions".

Signed, Been Used

Anonymous said...

"I do not know how anyone can say that if they know the real Jesus Christ"

We are imperfect people serving a perfect God. A true virtue all minister should have is humility accompnied with self-exmination. Even some of the heroes of the faith dealt with things we would not approve of today. Luther was anti-semetic and there were those who did not have a problem with slavery but we don't have a problem with them. If you are looking for a perfect person then wait one second after death. Griping about those who mistreat the Gospel does not help. Live your life for Christ and be the example yourself. Which I hope is the goal of all us who have trouble with these lifestyles at the expense of the name of God. The ministers are just starting to reflect those they serve.

Anonymous said...

Pardon me if I don't feel sorry for these "poor put upon" mega millionaire SPEAKERS (I won't call them preachers). They have it so rough.It is so difficult living a millionaire lifestyle made off of Gods Word. Well if they encounter difficulties, maybe they aren't supposed to be SPEAKERS. If it is so difficult for them why don't they "GET OUT". But then where else can you have that much money given to you. They may get by on earth with this stuff, but they arn't fooling God one second. I would not want to answer for them on Judgement Day. Jesus has a lot to say about these guys. But the people are ignorant because they don't read their own Bibles. And if you don't read your Bible then you are "wide open" to be used. Notice most all they talk about is MONEY. And how sad that they must ask you for it. So tiring for them. It would be so nice if you just mailed them money without them having to "constantly" ask for it. You owe it to them, you know, because they are who they are. Notice how the new trend is working. Money is always somehow tied to Salvation and works. No indeed Salvation is no longer a free gift from God. Don't worry about bringing your Bible to church, just your checkbook. Can we say "Fox in the hen house".
Eph:2:vs.7-9: "That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindnesss toward us through Christ Jesus. vs.8:"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: vs.9 "Not of works, lest any man should boast". I am so glad I have GODS WORD in truth from my BIBLE.

Anonymous said...

EY JR is the Ultimate Pimp in the Pulpit.

What I wanna know is why he gets away with but ole Robert Tilton sure didn't.

Anonymous said...

"I believe this is just the first wave in the Evangelical Tsunami to follow.

These fat cats are circling the wagons because they know what's coming !"


About the same thing that is coming to the corrupt, greedy politicians next election cycle, Goldman Sachs, Greece, etc......

Game OVER folks!

CheezeWhiz said...

When my wonderful church started becoming a wannabe megachurch, I started researching megachurches and the church growth movement. There is a definite philosophy that feeds the practices you described with this one church, and unfortunately, this behavior isn't limited to one community.
The church growth movement believes that traditional churches have blown it, that they don't care about growing because they don't really care about the "unchurched." To care about the unchurched you have to get into their heads and see why they don't come to church, and then cater to their "felt needs." Felt needs aren't spiritual needs. So you get sermons on money management and relationships. Hollywood even now provides free film clips with sermon outline guides. Pastors buy these packages to be "relevant," and to save time. Traditional church people get in the way of the "new paradigm" transition process and they must be dealt with. Usually, they do this by changing bylaws and securing more power for the main pastor and his hand-picked buddies. Then they can roll over obstructionists. There is a good overview out there called The Market-Driven Church by Gary Gilley http://www.rapidnet.com/~jbeard/bdm/Psychology/cgrowth/mkt.htm
that helped me understand what is going on. Scripture becomes minimized and books by trendy pastors are hot. There are more books on "Leadership" out there than could ever be read in a million years. That's the big thing. Grow your church then write a book on Leadership and rake in even more. And church management software keeps track of giving and volunteering, how many people a member has brought or helped saved and sometimes even who their friends are in church so pastors can apply pressure when needed. Sick developments.

Anonymous said...

We are imperfect people serving a perfect God. A true virtue all minister should have is humility accompnied with self-exmination. Even some of the heroes of the faith dealt with things we would not approve of today. Luther was anti-semetic and there were those who did not have a problem with slavery but we don't have a problem with them. If you are looking for a perfect person then wait one second after death. Griping about those who mistreat the Gospel does not help. Live your life for Christ and be the example yourself. Which I hope is the goal of all us who have trouble with these lifestyles at the expense of the name of God. The ministers are just starting to reflect those they serve.

February 16, 2010 12:58 PM

so, we should sin more so grace can abound? Paul said emphatically NO in Romans. Read it. And then go read ALL of 1 John.

One would think the Christian life requires no growing in Holiness. No painful sanctification.

You give me examples of men. Look to Jesus Christ as your example. Only then can we talk.

God only saved a small remnant of Israel. You find that several times through the OC.

What makes you think it is going to be different in the New Covenant after reading the letters to the churches in Revelation? The final warnings...

These ministers serve no one but themselves. But, I will agree that people like the false Jesus these men sell. He requires little but a few words of acknowledgement,a small percentage of your income each month. And of course, following the human who interprets the Word for you.

But this false Jesus then beomes a mere accessory to their lives. Easy to believe in and follow since there is no Cross to drag along. No need for Holiness or any painful sanctification. We must ignore the words that say God disciplines those who are His.

And the masses say, O goody! Jesus has a wonderful plan for my life! That is great...I have a wonderful plan for my life, too!

Anonymous said...

"You give me examples of men. Look to Jesus Christ as your example. Only then can we talk."

We can talk anytime. I might be taking you the wrong way and that is the problem with commenting and not being in one anothers presence and talking. Ones passions and concerns can be interpet as hot headedness and arrogant. If Chrit rules your heart I am sure your are the passionate and discerning one. We should always look towards Christ as our guide. To look anywhere else is not worthy. But he calls imperfect men to serve him. That was my point. Even in the midst of our imperfect ways God still moves and works because the Christ we serve is perfect. YOu are right that we miss the mark on holiness in todays church. For so long we tried to be holy without the presence of a Holy God. Now we want to be in the presence of a Holy God and not want to be holy. I hope you are having a blessed day Anon 4:39

Anonymous said...

Two thoughts:
#1: I'm glad that he prepared himself so well for this video blog, as evidenced by the way he had to look off and "um" get it together. #2 He really takes this serious, look at how he had those frayed jeans and props his foot up on the desk, I guess when your the "franchise player" you really have to relax.
Then I have a question, was this video blog filmed on his private yacht that Brett Shipp didn't report about? My goodness, I nearly got seasick just watching this thing!
How bout you get rid of the jet and buy a cheap tripod to place your camera on.

Anonymous said...

" But he calls imperfect men to serve him. That was my point."

I do not consider that an excuse for greed or selling the Gospel for material gain or celebrity. Imperfect believers fight the flesh daily with even their thoughts and it is obvious in their deeds they perservere to 'walk in the light'. They do not continue in willful continuous sin with no godly remorse or repentance. And they certainly do not teach sin as virtue.

As a friend wrote me recently, if that is where "Christians" live, I want no part of it.

Anonymous said...

This guy always makes me appreciate Joel Osteen more and more, and he is the only guy who can do that!

New BBC Open Forum said...

"And the masses say, O goody! Jesus has a wonderful plan for my life! That is great...I have a wonderful plan for my life, too!"

"I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do, because I notice it always coincides with their own desires."

-- Susan B. Anthony

Bro.Rod said...

For your eyes only.Tom if you get a chance listen to John MacAuthur's sermon today,esp near the end.He says some enlightening things about why men get into ministry and their motives.

Wayr 550am at 10:30am and 08:30pm
Wros 1050am at 5:30pm

or on his web site.
Have a great day!!!

Anonymous said...

Anon (Two thoughts) 10:36

You mentioned a Yacht!!! Does he have a yacht also?

Anonymous said...

I liken this to JIm and Tammy Baker, when they started out their intentions were pure. The the devil temps them with the money flow and they fall. We put these guys almost on a God level. Dr. Criswell started this with his enjoyment of the worship he received, while he did misuse church resources he was much smarter than these guys. They simply don't care who knows and they feel it's deserved. Dr. C felt the same but was smart enough to know the church would (and did) get sick of it.

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:17
As far as I know Young Jr. does not have a yacht. I was just being facetious, in regards to how shaky and wobbly the picture was when it began. But with the excesses of some of these guys would any of us be surprised if he did have a yacht?

Anonymous said...

One of the "franchise players" (senior pastor) I used to serve with as church administrator unnecessarily led the congregation to over-build a new auditorium by about 800 seats--at a cost of about $7 million (still not paid for--are even close to full on Sundays--after 8 years). Two years later, I got the mortgage re-financed at a considerably lower interest rate which helped save the church about $1 million over the life of the loan (and other such save-fanny-from-fire sorts of budget-related things on his behalf; the value of his salary package, though, was greater by about $30,000 annually).

God bless church administrators

Anonymous said...

1. WHAT a senior pastor does with the money he earns is not necessarily the business of the congregation he serves.

2. HOW MUCH a senior pastor is paid is the business of the congregation he serves (keeping in mind, at the least, that he also doesn't want for his children to qualify for free lunches at school or to go without the braces their teeth need).

3. WORK MADE FOR HIRE rules apply; sermons and other such products of senior pastors (and other ministry staff) done on the church's time belong to the congregation--unless a contract is in place stating otherwise. A guy might start his own side business/organization intending to use what he produces for use in/by a church but, without a contract giving it to him, rights to the product belong to the church--not the pastor.

Anonymous said...

Well folks, those of you who are interested in missions should know that the FBCJ will be hosting a a "Mission Conference" at the DEERWOOD COUNTRY CLUB on Saturday 27th. The topic to be discussed will be "how to use your profesion as a business on the mission field".

Unbelievable their strategy - the gathering place for this meeting to discuss Missions speaks for itself. This is just all wrong and sending the wrong message to people. IT'S ALL ABOUT MONEY!

Anonymous said...

Been Used, wy not get with FBCJAXWATCHDOG, NEWBBCFORUM AND WARTBURG WATCH and start your own blog.

You can call it: FCWATCHDOG. However, do not do it the way they did where someone can OUT YOU. There are systems you can set it up thru that even the Supreme Court cannot find out you identity.

You can just let these other folks give you ideas on outing any perps you think should be.

Junkster said...

Off topic (but relevant):

Facebook gripes protected by free speech, ruling says

Junkster said...

Anonymous said...
Well folks, those of you who are interested in missions should know that the FBCJ will be hosting a a "Mission Conference" at the DEERWOOD COUNTRY CLUB on Saturday 27th. The topic to be discussed will be "how to use your profesion as a business on the mission field".


Actually, that's probably one of the better ideas I've seen lately. I wish more churches would put major efforts into equipping their members to be salt and light in their communities and workplaces, rather than just always trying to get them to spend more time and money in activities in and around the church buildings.

Unbelievable their strategy - the gathering place for this meeting to discuss Missions speaks for itself. This is just all wrong and sending the wrong message to people. IT'S ALL ABOUT MONEY!

Now that may be true -- I would like to see as much focus put on winning the poor to Christ as the rich.

Anonymous said...

Mission Conference at Deerwood Country Club. Topic to be discussed "How to use your profession as a business on the mission field".

It just never stops, does it!!!!

This "country club" meeting, discussing how to use your profession as a business on the mission field; is that going to illustrate to anyone who might be interested (if)...how to reach the lost? How to minister to the poor, who have not "profession nor business. Indeed to those without jobs at all, right under their noses, maybe even in the church they attend. How about it being relevant to those going without food or losing their homes? Yes I can see where the importance lies for the church today.

Jesus said in Matt: 19:30: "But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first".

2 Tim.3:5 "Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof".

sea said...

I've read a lot of comments here about pastors making too much money. Can someone please tell me what salary and benefits package is appropriate for a pastor? Thanks.

Anonymous said...

"I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do, because I notice it always coincides with their own desires."

-- Susan B. Anthony

------------------------

What an AWESOME quote!

Anonymous said...

Can you imagine Dr. Lindsay or his father sitting at their desks with blue jeans on and their feet up on the desk talking about being a franchise player when refering to their ministry. Neither one majored on money. Both of these gentlemen talked about Jesus first and foremost.

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:04 pm. Appears whatever the Market will bear. My opinion is that the pastor should be paid somewhere between $40,000 to $80,000 per year the first three years. If he preaches the whole council of God then increase his salary by 5%. If HE (himself!!!) visits the sick and holds funerals for EVERYONE RICH AND POOR, not just the fellow big shots, money boys and other assorted millionaires, give him another 5%. If he writes books and makes speaking engagements for a fee deduct 10%, especially if it is ON CHURCH TIME, otherwise, split the profits with the church he is supposed to be serving, not just SELF-SERVING. Also, never, never let his family be part of the ministry and draw salaries.

The church MUST be in the work of winning souls not worrying about how to make the pastor and his family rich and famous. There are plenty of good men out there who can handle the requirements without being a celebrity. If they want to be a celebrity tell them to go to Hollywood.

Pastors: stop trying to ACT like you are in it for God, unless you really are. Phonies are easy to spot EVENTUALLY even to kool-aid drinkers. Also stop trying to hide your planes, boats, whatever, people always find out no matter how deep in corporations you go. And BTW vacations, and "shopping trips" called mission trips are not advisable.And a big problem today: Rely on the Holy Spirit (if you are saved) to lead your ministry, not a marketing firm that tries to increase your BRAND and market share.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of "franchise player" preachers:

The wife of televangelist Benny Hinn has filed for divorce in Southern California.
Suzanne Hinn filed the papers in Orange County Superior Court on Feb. 1, citing irreconcilable differences, after more than 30 years of marriage. The papers note the two separated on Jan. 26 and that Hinn has been living in Dana Point, a wealthy coastal community in southern Orange County.
Hinn is one of the best known advocates of the prosperity gospel, which teaches that Christians who are right with God will be rewarded with wealth and health in this lifetime.
His TV broadcasts on the Trinity Broadcast Network, a Pentecostal broadcasting juggernaut, and other TV networks are seen by millions of people around the world nearly every day. He travels the globe in his ministry's plane, named Dove One, holding events he calls "Miracle Crusades" that include spiritual healings.
Hinn has never fully publicly disclosed how he spends the money he raises, but his vast ministry is believed to be a multimillion-dollar operation. There was no mention of finances in the court filing, which listed three recent Southern California addresses for the family.
Over the years, Hinn has been the target of intense criticism from fellow Christians and watchdog groups who call his teachings false and accuse him of raising money only to enrich himself.
He is one of six televangelists under investigation by Sen. Charles Grassley, the Iowa Republican on the Senate Banking Committee, over whether he complied with IRS rules for nonprofits. Hinn has said on his Web site that external auditors ensure his compliance with IRS regulations and that in 2008, 88 percent of the money he collected was spent on ministry.
Benny Hinn Ministries is based in Grapevine, Texas, and operates a church and television studio in Aliso Viejo in California's Orange County, according to its Web site.
Sorrell Trope, the attorney listed on Suzanne Hinn's court filing, did not immediately return a call for comment.
J. Lee Grady, contributing editor of Charisma, a news magazine on the Pentecostal community, said Hinn's divorce is the latest in a string of high-profile ministry divorces and moral failures among the Pentecostal leaders, beginning with Ted Haggard's fall from grace in 2006.
He said Hinn's followers will want an explanation because of the high profile the couple had.
"It will be devastating to the people who have supported Benny Hinn's evangelistic work around the world," Grady said.
"Obviously because their ministry has been very public (and) they will need to issue a statement to their supporters to explain how this happened," he said.

Anonymous said...

I would think a pastor can earn as much as the congregation will approve. Period. If that is $1 million dollars, so be it. Just make sure every member knows how much, or how little, the salary is and then let the church vote one sunday morning. Then, it is no one else's business since the donors will know of and approve what they are paying, right or wrong.

If the amount is too low, the people will be led by God to raise it. (The pastor can trust God right?) If it is too high, the people can reduce it. (Again, the pastor trusts God to provide for his needs.)

Then, if anyone does not approve of it, they can vote with their feet and go support another church and pastor where the numbers are more in line with their understanding of good stewardship, personally and as a church body. No more secret CEO salaries, parsonage expenses, nepotism, and hidden benefits. Amen? Amen?

Why does this suggestion offend, shock and frighten pastors?

Anonymous said...

"I've read a lot of comments here about pastors making too much money. Can someone please tell me what salary and benefits package is appropriate for a pastor? Thanks."


When it cannot look tacky or turn their head so they expect a luxury lifestyle and become whiny.

How about looking at the median income of families in the church? Or even in that community where the church is. (not where their luxury home is located)

The average income for a family in the US is about 47,000. That will probably be higher (or lower with obama) with this coming census.

Since most pastors say their wives cannot work, that means they have even less. (Some pastors I know are married to nurses, teachers, etc and do depend on that income..but then they are not celebrity pastors)

Perhaps you can tell us why the pastor should make 5 times more than the average member with major tax breaks on housing, etc? And don't forget his other incomes with his parachurch org, books, speaking conferences, etc. He could easily be making 10x more.

Perhaps, that is a better way to form the question.

Of course the celebrity pastor does not think he is median material at all. He thinks he deserves the big bucks because he views himself as a big CEO of a vast enterprise selling Jesus for material gain. (He will try and act humble the proof is all around their lives that they aren't)

Anonymous said...

"If he preaches the whole council of God then increase his salary by 5%."

If he preaches the whole counsel of God, then he probably would not take the 5% but would insist it go those more in need.

Keep in mind, there are some out there doing just that. you will never know their names. They are not famous with speaking gigs and big books or the praise of other big dogs. You WILL know their name on J-Day when you will hear: WELL DONE good and faithful servant.

For others who sought the limelight, the power and influence and others who sought the big money you will hear:

21 "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?' 23 And then will I declare to them, I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.'

Anonymous said...

I believe we should pay attention to what the apostle Paul said...beware of wickedness in high places.

Anonymous said...

"If HE (himself!!!) visits the sick and holds funerals for EVERYONE RICH AND POOR, not just the fellow big shots, money boys and other assorted millionaires, give him another 5%. If he writes books and makes speaking engagements for a fee deduct 10%, especially if it is ON CHURCH TIME, otherwise, split the profits with the church he is supposed to be serving, not just SELF-SERVING. Also, never, never let his family be part of the ministry and draw salaries."

Reply: excellent start!

"How about looking at the median income of families in the church?"

Reply: Not just looking but using that figure to determine what is a fair salary (including all perks) for the pastor. If many of the wives in the church have to work to make ends meet what's wrong with the pastor's wife (assuming she's able) going to work, too? Anyplace but the church that is!

Anonymous said...

Note: The majority of wives of the preachers who are on staff at FBCJ for the most part have advanced educational degrees and bring in a nice salary in addition to the husbands.

Mac Brunson has never earned the salary the search committee gave him - he's only been a part time preacher since he arrived in Jacksonville, both him and his wife do not deserve what they are paid. If Brunson had the ability to fill up the pews then folks probably would say he's worth a 6 figure salary. Don't say it's the economy as people are returning to church, everywhere but downtown FBCJ. The "part time" music director is over paid as well - these Sr Pastors make far more than our police, fire, and educators in the field. Hosting a "Mission Conference" at a Country Club says it all - especially to the average Joe!

Anonymous said...

Note: The majority of wives of the preachers who are on staff at FBCJ for the most part have advanced educational degrees and bring in a nice salary in addition to the husbands.

Mac Brunson has never earned the salary the search committee gave him - he's only been a part time preacher since he arrived in Jacksonville, both him and his wife do not deserve what they are paid. If Brunson had the ability to fill up the pews then folks probably would say he's worth a 6 figure salary. Don't say it's the economy as people are returning to church, everywhere but downtown FBCJ. The "part time" music director is over paid as well - these Sr Pastors make far more than our police, fire, and educators in the field. Hosting a "Mission Conference" at a Country Club says it all - especially to the average Joe!

Anonymous said...

I believe the pastor should never be concerned with tithes or offerings. The people will support the church if it is doing God's work. Otherwise let it fail. God is in total charge of his church not some man or group of men who think they are. Lastly, if they are doing it in the flesh it isn't worth the effort to keep it going in the first place. The Lord "will supply all their needs". Where is the faith they preach to everyone else. It is not necessary to "hound", or threaten people in order for the Lord to bless what He wants to bless.

Arce said...

I was the personnel chairman for a church governed by monthly congregational meetings that had the final say in everything and everything was amendable in those meetings (except the constitution and bylaws, which took a little more). We used a guideline for total compensation as the median job related income of the principle breadwinner in each household in the church, including any retirement contribution, insurance benefits, perks, taxes paid by the employer, etc. We also attempted to determine a 60th percentile number as an upper limit for extremely valuable performance.

We limited personnel expenses to 50% of the church budget, with 20% going to missions outside the local congregation and 30% for maintenance, utilities, literature, etc. The building program was always a separate designated fund.

If we needed more staff that we had money, we informed the nominating committee and they recruited volunteers to do that function.

Then we used the median figure in negotiation with the pastor as to how to divide that up in providing his salary, tax-free housing allowance, health and life insurance, retirement, and allowance for social security taxes. We also allocated an additional amount for car allowance, due to the amount of driving a pastor who visits should do and provided some funds to attend a state meeting and a national meeting.

sea said...

Thanks for some answers to my question about pastor's salaries.I think the answer by anonymous 9:43 am is probably the closest to my thoughts on the subject.
To anonymous 10:25 am. It's not my job nor my desire to defend any pastor's compensation. Thanks for reforming my question but I formed it just the way I wanted to.I was interested to hear some ideas about the subject from ya'll.Hope to keep hearing ideas.
Have a blessed day

Anonymous said...

I have yet to hear any supporter of a mega church provide a biblical reason for paying HIGH salaries to pastors. When they move on to greener pastures the former leadership frequently admit the former MEGA pastor was not a good administrator, wasn't what they wanted, AND desired too much time off. Funny, but they never learn. Thats what mega preachers are all about.

For consideration to pulpit committees: when a prospective pastor ask what his salary and perks are just show him the door, from the inside OUT. If he doesn't trust the Lord to look after his finances he needs to find employment elsewhere. After all the pastors are always telling the flock to "just trust the Lord" with our finances, but give it first and foremost to them.

Most all the rest of us have to start at the bottom and work ourselves up which can take a few years. Why should it be any different for them? MAYBE THEY ARE IN IT FOR THE MONEY!!!. Ya think?

Anonymous said...

Arce:

That's a great example of a model that has been thought through by a local congregation.

We have consulted 2 compensation studies, one put out by a national church business administrators' associational group.

The salaries in that study are grouped by denomination, region, congregational size, budget size and years of service. There is a category for each position. Plus we make adjustments for local issues.

We do not know the incomes of the people in our church, so we don't use that.

The study has given us some objective comparison so we are not shooting in the dark.

No matter what a church uses, I believe that a good faith attempt to use something is a lot better than what is done at some places.

Louis

Anonymous said...

I guess the Obama Administrations has started regulating pastoral salaries now.

It is the congregtions choice. Because you have what you call a bad pastor does not mean another church does. A pastor is on call 24/7. If you are able then pay him within reason. If you want him to listen to you gripe that the temprature is not right or the sermon went over then add 20% to that amount within reason. If he preaches on money more than he should then drop his salary by 10%Why are we even argueing about Mac or Ed, or whoever. Good points are being made but I see unhealthy spiritual fruit coming from some of the arguements on both sides. Why don't address those issues also. If we expecting people to be holy and beyond reproach when comes to carry out the duties of the church then we should expect the same from when we blog. Point for discussion, how yall feel about that?

Anonymous said...

According to the Word, there is no discussion on compensation for a "pastor". And the compensation for an elder is: Respect... as in "double honor".

Since the Body model in the NT is an organism, it would be changing and dividing as new churches were planted in other homes and believers become more mature. Collections were taken to aid in this. And they took care of their own.

The discussions here are a result of the church becoming an organization and man's traditions taking over. Incidently, this tradition, as many others, is from the pagan temple when Christianity became legal in AD 300 or so.

Wouldn't it be a blessing to see who would continue to preach the full Gospel despite no pay? Or to see who would emerge as a shepherd to new believers when it does not involve a title and compensation package? Some here might be gifted to Shepherd new believers and never know it.

This is where I think we will have to learn the hard way from our brothers and sisters in countries where Christianity is illegal. Instead of being a professional career, it has to be a spiritual gifting of the Holy Spirit. There is nothing in it for them materially except the possibility of jail time or persecution of a very violent nature.


Matt

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Anon - I agree, its the congregation's choice. I say let the congregation know the salary, and let it not be a secret that only a select very few men in the church know. If a church donor wants to know, they should be able to easily find out what the total salary and staff compensation is. And to the anon who said the market should dictate, I also agree, but for a free market to best work, information needs to be freely shared so that all sides know the facts. The congregation is the one that pays the salary of the pastor, not the trustees or deacon board, and thus they should have access to compensation data, then we can start talking "free market". Problem is, if the peeps knew the compensation numbers of most mega churches, giving would drop; and long-term pastor compensation would drop when the members know the numbers. Full disclosure. But the mega church pastors and their leadership boards don't trust Jesus enough apparently.

And Obama - well, if mega churches don't get their act together, and stop allowing the pastor and his closest associates to siphon off money and enrich the pastor and his family like its a family-owned business, then it might not be Obama but Grassley or some other Republican senator who begins to call for openness and transparency of church finances as a condition of tax exempt status. That day is coming and it is fast approaching.

Anonymous said...

Watchdog you said a mouthfull. But one thing is not practical...yes men owe their total allegiance to the pastor rather than the congregation. They will never admit they have made a mistake and even it later develops they would ignore it and move on. We learn nothing from history. WWI, WWII, Korea, Viet Nam, 1st Gulf War, 2nd Gulf War, Afganistan and now Pakistan.

One other thing, its not that they do not trust Jesus especially when they call themselves " God's Man " and they have been called!!!. It like someone said earlier, its gonna get worse.

Anonymous said...

I get very tired of hearing that poor mistreated pastors are "on call 24/7". I have never ever had a pastor who answers his own phone after hours. The pastors I know personally do not take any phone calls from normal members at home ever. I as a Sunday School teacher gets calls at night and on weekends. If there is an emergency, I get calls in the middle of the night. I have yet to see a pastor sit with a family in the emergency room at 2:30 in the morning. I have seen godly men and women who have real jobs sit all night with a grieving family and STILL go to work the next day. Pastors love to call any church related work as "work" while the rest of us call it our responsibility as fellow christians.

Anonymous said...

In China where there are thousands of house churches, do those new Christians bring 10% undesignated to the house they meet in? If so, what if they move from house to house and don't meet in the same home each week? And which one of them is "God's man"to get to budget and spend the money?

No, storehouse tithing makes no sense in true New Testament churches. That is why it was not taught in the NT or the Old.

Thy Peace said...

Off Topic:

Ministry of Reconciliation [Debbie Kaufman] > The Truth, The Whole Truth, And Nothing But The Truth. Is Ergun Caner Being Truthful?.

Anonymous said...

For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believes in Him, and gives 10% of his gross income, undesignated to a local church budget, shall be saved.

Mac,Steve and Ed.

Anonymous said...

For the wages of sin is death, but the Gift of God is your pastor and staff.

Anonymous said...

Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord, and give 10% of his gross income, undesignated to a local church budget, shall be saved.

Anonymous said...

11th Commandment - Thou Shalt Tithe, this is 10% of thou's gross income, undesignated to a local church budget.

Anonymous said...

"In China where there are thousands of house churches, do those new Christians bring 10% undesignated to the house they meet in? If so, what if they move from house to house and don't meet in the same home each week? And which one of them is "God's man"to get to budget and spend the money?"


Excellent questions! They certainly are not opening bank accounts in the name of the church. So, how would a tithe system work in that situation?

Keep in mind they face similar problems as those 1st Century Christians faced. (Making sure we are talking about the underground church and not the Chinese state sanctioned church that also has a Crescent on the sign along with the Star of David)

Matt

Anonymous said...

Noticed that media examination of Ed Young is called an "attack" on cms site.

http://www.churchmarketingsucks.com/archives/2010/02/how_to_deal_wit.html

Anonymous said...

"I get very tired of hearing that poor mistreated pastors are "on call 24/7".

Me Too!

This is bygones in the ministry for the most part - only the police, fire fighters, and medical personell are the ones to be on call 24/7 for my needs and they don't even come close to earning a 6 figure sally. The mega church pastors only show up at the bedside of the most influential, otherwise they send in their puppets who are on call 24/7 to do what he should be doing.

Members want to see the Senior Pastor, not their side kicks. Oh that's right, he's to busy traveling the world on trips, cruises and vacations, speaking engagements to serve everyone but his home church.

Anonymous said...

I have a different person to classify as the "greatest complete man of the 20th century". Mac said he believed it was Ernest Hemingway the man who had four wives, drank often, big game hunter, and eventually committed suicide. For me, Ernest is no role model. I'll take Douglas MacArthur who did more for America than a thousand Ernest Hemingways.

He was a great soldier for 52 years had more intelligence than Truman, never got drunk, did not go hunting for big game, did not commit suicide and loved his country. And was a professing Christian.

Anonymous said...

"have a different person to classify as the "greatest complete man of the 20th century". Mac said he believed it was Ernest Hemingway "

He really said that? Hemingway was famous for calling life: Nada.

Are you sure Mac said this? If so, that would be malpractice and he should be fired for it in his position.

Anonymous said...

Mac stated such on tv at the 8:00 am service this morning on channel 12. I really believe Mac read the book or books of Hemingway and obviously admired the writer, and his gift for writing compelling stories. He said Hemingway was the most complete man of the 20th century, having been, in his opinion, a great writer, fought in several wars, was a big game hunter, etc. Although, to me, why anyone would admire big game hunting is a mystery. He did admit to Hemingway having four wives, big game hunter, fighting in wars etc. But that he ran out of joy and committed suicide. Hemingway was an alcoholic and fought major depression most of his life. In my opinion, he was not saved and had NO joy, thus the 4 wives, the alcohol etc. I believe he was always searching for meaning and later peace in his life which he obviously did not find, thus the suicide. If only he had found Jesus. This story could be repeated over and over. If only people would find Jesus.

Well, he might be Mac's choice but not mine. I admire very few men since I have seen much of life and know that Jesus is the only remedy for any problem, one way or another. Don't put your hopes and admiration on man for they will disappoint you most of the time. I can surely testify to that happening.

The 20th century for me had many complete and honorable men other than Hemingway. Every man who died in WW1, WW2, Korea, Vietnam, Gulf Wars, Twin Towers and the Pentagon, and the men who diverted the 4th plane into a forest in Pa. have my admiration. Our service personnel today are to be admired. They are the true complete men of the 20th century. I would also put Winston Churchill in the top 5 as well. Others would be Eisenhower, Patton, Bradley, and Marshall. These being war heros. So many others come to mind also. Mac did say Hemingway drove an ambulance during WW1. Hemingway, additionally, was a very close friend of another alcoholic, hollywood actor, Errol Flynn. They were good friends and spent time together in Cuba, according to both biographies. One other sad note to Hemingway, his father committed suicide and his two brothers also died of alcoholism. I believe his neice committed suicide as well. Tragic ending for most of the Hemingways, and not my idea as the most complete man of the 20th century.

Dr. Fill said...

Interesting new site: http://churchrater.com/