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Darren Rowse

thanks for the link and comment. I've spent the whole day today wondering what it was I was saying this morning and if I'd made any sense to anyone. Glad to see it connected with someone.

Its something I think we need to keep thinking through for many reasons - including to help sustain the new forms of church we're seeing spring up around the place.

One of the goals/hopes/dreams that I have with my business is that I'll be able to help fund emerging church practitioners, but also (and more importantly) be able to help skill and train them to earn their own money through a web presence.

On top of that I just think more of us who have led a somewhat sheltered existence in churches and ministry should 'get a life' and experience the real world a little and connect with the average joe where he or she spends most of their lives.

Still thinking this one through though...

mark

I think I can understand much of where this is coming from. However, I would strongly dispute the assumption that 'full-time' church employees do not live in the 'real world'. Seems to be some unhealthy dualism creeping in. It's not long since I spent seven years in a 'real-world' job which was kept bearable through the friendships I developed in the workplace; now, as a paid curate in the CofE I feel alive and where I'm meant to be. Nevertheless, workplace issues are often remarkably similar to those I've met before. Moreover, I encounter matters of life and death on a fairly regular basis which are often hidden away from those working in other areas. In fact, sometimes it's those with comparatively larger incomes, settled accommodation, and the capability to plan on staying in the same place throughout their children's schooling, who seem to be less in the 'real world' - there's something about being a paid 'minister' which brings you into regular contact with the precariousness and fragility of life, from which others may be sheltered by their occupations and matching lifestyles.

Whilst I do not believe there is such a thing as the 'laity' - a fundamentally unbiblical construct which perpetuates the idea of a two-tier people of God, nevertheless I do believe that some people's ministry (not necessarily preachers or pastors, but probably those with an 'oversight' role) should be enabled to flourish by means of a stipend. Moreover, I'd like to emphasize that these are not new questions being asked. My dad is a Baptist minister and I remember what it was like when he was growing a church and working full-time in a planning department, and the liberation which came to him, his family and the church when the church began to pay him a full-time salary.

GregB

I've been in fulltime ministry as well as leading in a nonpaid context (which is currently the case). I think one significant issue is to recognize what God is doing in a leader, wanting to teach them, to bring them to truer Christlikeness.

A laboror is truly worthy of their wages and I'm of the bent that considers it right to pay people as they function in God-ordained places in a given ministry endeavor. I also know that it may be under the rubric of God's dealing with a person to teach them deeper life lessons and to give them understanding of His ways if He leads them to a place where their service is not compensated financially. All this boils down to not simply being principle-driven (full-time, bi-vocational, etc.?) but to have a sound sense of how God is leading in order to see His kingdom manifest in the manner that He intends.

paul T w Monastery of sound

thanks Johnny - this stuff is dead timely for me struggling for years with the - full time v tentmaking thing (full or partial self support)- and coming to a crunch time - here we go again!
there not being many ads in the paper:

p/t apostles and missional adventurers wanted!

its great to see a cluster of options open up - of late... bout time! I'm linking it on me blog... cheers!
paul t

Darren Rowse

I dont know if you've seen Neil Coles essay/article on paid ministry...his conclusion after looking at the NT is that the only ppl who should be paid for ministry are Apostles and Widows....

interesting read if you can track it down - its online somewhere

Thomas Clark

Hello. I would just like to say this: "Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall." For I believe as clergymen, we are always susceptible to the temptations of mankind, we are not invulnerable. In believing so, we weaken ourselves in His eyes.

Bill Colburn

Thanks so much for expressing your thoughts on missional entrepreneurship. After 25 years of ministry we left a senior pastorate position and purchased a cafe through which we could meet and build relationships with the kind of folks the church is supposed to be witnessing to. Our cafe is intentionally not 'Christian'. We are Christians intentionally coming alongside anyone God puts in our path at the cafe. The greatest difficulty we have faced is that we left a secure salary, health benefits and other benefits and after nearly 8 months we are still in the red - though our business is slowly building. Wish there were more folks out there who would sponsor folks for a year or two until they can be fully self-supporting and able to 'pay forward' another couple called to missional incarnations.

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