June 19, 2008

A Fine Line

Now that summer is here (boy is it here--check out how hot it is!), Ginger and I are looking at houses to rent in Long Beach. Buying is not an option for us at this point. The income I receive from the church is fixed and limited, so we have a certain budget in mind. Obviously, the cheaper the rent, the more we have to live off of. And also, the cheaper the rent, the more likely it is that the place we will rent will be small and not allow pets.

As a pastor, I try not to complain about money, although sometimes comments do slip out. I do understand that my income comes from the tithes and offerings of the church members, and asking for too much money is often seen as greedy. ("Shouldn't the pastor be seeking spiritual wealth, not monetary wealth?") On the other hand, many pastors make the mistake of putting the church first in their life at the expense of their family. Many pastor's kids end up hating the church and rebelling against the church, because they see it as having stolen their parent from them.

It seems a fine line on which to balance. I'm doing my best, as I search for a place to live.

1 comment:

Pastor Bob Cornwall said...

The idea that clergy families should live like paupers is really unfortunate. Historically clergy are among the lowest paid professionals. Many of us are highly educated, work long hours, don't get weekends off, and yet we're not expected to ask for a fair wage.

Small churches do find it difficult to pay a good salary, but in my old age (50) I think it's appropriate to speak up and ask for what's fair.