Saturday, October 16, 2010

You're Damn Right It's a New Car!

I bought a new car last week. By “new” I mean it’s five years old. But it’s nice, a little more comfortable than the other one we have. The boys love it. My 12 year old found at least twenty-seven things about it that were “awesome.” The older one likes it too, although he’s too cool to say much; however, he’s pleased because he’ll get to drive the older one more often.

I haven’t shown it off because experience has taught me how jealous people in the church get when I have something nice. I am sick to death of hearing the catty little jokes about how much money the preacher is making. I will never listen to another speech about how other people have had it so rough and somehow the money I make now contributed to their hardship back in the depression.

While I’m on the subject, how is it that ministers are judged so harshly by their salaries? They don’t set them. They accept what’s offered, same as any other job.

I actually had a man tell me I shouldn’t have accepted a raise because I they already paid me so much money (trust me, it wasn’t so much). As a matter of fact, I have turned down several raises for the sake of the church’s financial welfare. And I’ve never, ever asked for one.

I heard the resentment from the very beginning when little old ladies resented the fifty dollars a week I was paid for youth ministry—they thought I should have done it for free.

So I’ll enjoy my new car quietly and let it dawn on them slowly that I have it.


  1. Well sheesh, tell them when they go to work for no money, you will too! It's as if some of your church members allow themselves to vent every hang up they have in your direction. That's just sad. Enjoy the new car! ~K

  2. K, that's a good point. People often blame the minister for their problems, I think because they se him as God's representative. Plus, it's easier to mad at the minister than at God.

  3. New young Pastor here.
    Did that guy ask you how much you dropped on seminary? Did he ask you how many hours per week you work or that the IRS deems you as self employed thus causing you to pay double FICA?

    Interestingly, I was in business for 10 years and got jealous at my pastor of a church plant I was a part of in seminary. He was making 6 figures and when I found that out I resented him for making more money than I did in my secular job while I was the one putting out chairs and cleaning up after church on Sundays. I never said anything to him, but it is ironic that I have experienced both sides. That being said I don't make anything close to 6 figures but I am worth every penny.

    A lot of people think we are not worth it becuase this is not a real job. I was in a "real" job in corporate America and I have seen more reality this year than any year of my life. Burying two 20 year olds, counseling people not to divorce, helping pick up pieces after affairs, attempted suicides. Dang, that is real and for the hoops we had to jump through and go through to do our a moment of crisis I doubt that guy would tell you your not worth your salary. At least hope not

  4. NYP, you sound like the real deal to me. Frustrations and hoops aside, can you see yourself leaving it? Betcha a hard earned dollar you're in it for life.

  5. CG--If they are that interested in the financial welfare of the church, they can donate their nice car. Or they can "sell all they have and give the money to the poor." Or more practically, they can double their contribution. Unless of course they give nothing, and then we're stuck with the hard reality of arithmetic: 2 X zero dollars = zero dollars. Kind of like IQ.

    I know how hard you've worked to get where you are and how hard you work now. I don't know anyone who works harder, or who gamely plows through rocky fields studded with tree stumps. Your yoke is not easy, and your burden is not light. Anytime they want to take that yoke upon themselves, just be sure you help them get a nice, tight fit around their necks.
    --Jagged Peace

  6. Thanks JP. To be fair, my current church is are not petty about money, ahd the ones who noticed the car were nice and told me they were glad I have a second car.

    As for working hard, I think I do, but in truth, I know lots of people who work very hard and deserve their pay.

    Double the offering/double the IQ. It really does break down when they're at zeroes.