Posted by: watchman | August 11, 2009

Should Clergy Be Paid?

I am starting to question the necessity of a paid clergy. Zach from Baptimergent did not help by posting this.

What are your thoughts? Should clergy be paid?



  1. I’m in favor of paid clergy. To write a weekly sermon takes time. To visit the elderly takes time. Even the lunches with office-worker parishioners take time. Building community, contracting to have the roof repaired, praying with the family of someone who died, reviewing materials for Sunday School or Vacation Bible School… It all takes time, and I think it also requires education. There is a lot to be said for a seminary education in terms of preparing someone to help others understand the meaning and context of scripture, and in terms of keeping a congregation out of trouble. The time and education involved make the services performed by clergy valuable, and I think the act of paying clergy helps parishioners to value it. Paying the clergy also allows for ministers to have a full-time focus on ministry, which is a craft. As a craft, ministry involves a set of learned skills, which can be honed and refined, and that is perhaps best done on a professional basis. This doesn’t rule out ministers who have other jobs or other skills, and many such ministers have phenominal talents. But a lot of the ordinary, working ministers benefit from training and time to practice full-time, as do their congregations.

  2. You have another listener.

  3. I have been trying to piece my thoughts together on this one. So far, I am here –

    – The pastorate is mostly smoke in mirrors with the ceremonial stuff.

    – Most of the non-ceremonial stuff is spent taking care of administrative things that probably should not exist either – staff, buildings, committees.

    – Finally, many pastors I talk to claim that they would like to spend at least 20 hours a week in sermon prep. 20 hours? For a speech?

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