Discussion in 'Sacraments, Sacred Rites, and Holy Orders' started by Celtic1, Mar 6, 2013.
What percentage of the clergy do you think would be willing to serve without pay?
Even those clergy who lived in communes (i.e. the early early apostolic age) were supported by, and supported, their brethren in Christ. All was shared. In a way they were "payed" with the communal shared possessions in love. Doesn't your question, asked today, endanger the priests to starvation? They have to get paid somehow to live. Whether it's through a second job, "bi-vocational priesthood", welfare, or stipends, we gotta eat. It's almost a moot question, isn't it?
That's a great question Celtic1, my brother is a holiness minister and does not accept payment. I think a number of old school pentecostal and primitive Baptist preachers would not accept remuneration either. I think bivocational ministry will be the norm in the future.
I asked the question because I was thinking of a friend of mine, an old Baptist minister who died a few years ago. I was talking with him one time about pastors and jobs, and he told me that it seemed to him the new generation of pastors was more concerned about salary than about their calling.
I believe somewhere in the region of a quarter of CofE clergy are NSM's. Our Benefice has 4 churches with a Rector and 2 Associate Priests who are NSM's.
Wasn't it St Paul who refused to be taken care of and worked as a stone mason?
I believe he was a tent-maker but the Body took care of its members in the old days, just as the Apostle wanted. One of St Paul's big urgings to the Corinthians was to get them to collect money from Macedonia and Greece to send to the impoverished disciples & apostles in Judaea. Leaving ministers to fend for themselves in a secularized empty world that is hostile to them, merely for the sake of teaching them not to rely on stipends, would be horrid.
Sure, "if any would not work, neither should he eat" (2 Thess. 3:10) but Christians were also much closer in the first hours of the dawn of Truth. All things were common, they dwelt together in persecution, and huddled close for safety. Even when we are not under a genocidal power, we should strive to imitate this ideal. The Church will shrink radically in the next 30 years (most congregations in many denominations are elderly), so it may be attainable again. Clergy supported by laity supported by clergy, in a great community of mutual-assurance, isn't that bad.
There was a movement in the early 1900's called the "Worker Priest" movement, I believe it was within the Roman church, but I'm not sure.
On a personal note, I struggled for some time, wondering why God would allow my Rheumatoid Arthritis to end a 30 year career in EMS and LE, but it all came together in my mind when my retirement disability was miraculously approved from the start. God had provided the income and insurance so that I could serve a parish without requiring a salary and benefits. I can now serve the smallest/poor parish out there with no restrictions. God is indeed good!
I must agree with your friend. A fellow seminary grad just left for a missionary position in Serbia, and he was attempting (and eventually did) raise support of over $100,000 a year. Personally, I think this amount is ludicrous and unwarranted, but the supporting churches (Independent Christian) obviously disagreed.
Wow, thanks be to God. That's a great example of why the first ministers we hear of in Scripture are called "Elders". It's easier for Providence to develop security for a simple, humble minister when God has many years to work on a person's life. Your retirement & disability will become the ability for others to aspire. Much better than some youth like me coming into it with false ideas & potential dreams of a "successful" (i.e. rich) parish.
O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.
~ Psalm 106
[/quote]What percentage of the clergy do you think would be willing to serve without pay?[/quote]
The clergy of the Diocese of the U.K., do not receive any pay as far as I know, all work is voluntary!
For myself, I have never received any payment and have actually refused offers. The Burials , for most clergy, either Church, Roman or protestant are a constant source of income, but as far as I know the ACC, UK, doesn't accept payment to individuals. I have had trouble with the tax office over the years who don't believe me, but I do not accept payment for service of any kind! Mind you, I always suggest to those who insist, that if they are determined to show their gratitude to send a voluntary offering to the Parish.
Interestingly, we have been offered jobs, burials, by arrangement, for traditionalists who wish to have their relatives and friends buried in the traditional catholic ways i.e. vestments, bells and incense. These offers usually are made by the cemetery staff or undertakers.