Culture At Large

New poll: is it morally OK for a pastor to make $1,000,000?

Andy Rau

We've got a new poll this week. But first things first: last week's poll, which asked "How far do you live from your church?" Lots of you voted, and there were some great comments on the topic, so if you missed the discussion, be sure to check it out.

Here's how the voting broke down:

  • 29% of you travel 5 - 10 miles to get to your church.
  • Next up are the 21% who drive 11 - 20 miles.
  • 20% drive 1 - 4 miles.
  • 15% live close enough to easily watch to church (under a mile).
  • 10% live more than 20 miles from church (your monthly fuel budget probably hopes you only attend one worship service per week, ha ha). And 5% don't attend a church.

Do those results surprise you? I'll confess I'm pleasantly surprised that so many people live within ten miles of church. (I don't, so I'm definitely not criticizing those of you with a longer commute.)

But now on to the new poll. Chris just posted a provocative video that hits on all sorts of touchy questions about money, church and ministry finances, and the so-called prosperity gospel. In keeping with that theme, our new poll asks a simple question:

Is it morally appropriate for a pastor to make a $1,000,000 salary?

Note that we're not criticizing any specific pastors who make that much money each year, and you can pretty much substitute "a lot of money" for "$1,000,000," if you see our point. Go vote in the poll on the right, and once you've done so, come back here and share your thoughts. Here are a few further questions to ponder:

  • Does it bother you to hear of pastors or ministry workers drawing such huge salaries? Or do you see that large paycheck as a means by which God blesses (some of) his followers? Or is it none of our business?
  • Would you answer change if the question was directed at a Christian who is a successful business CEO? Are ministry workers held to a different financial-stewardship standard than everybody else? Should they be?

Let us know what you think!

Topics: Culture At Large, Business & Economics, Money