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Men of God also deserve decent living

A LOT has to be done in the way the pastors go about lobbying for money from their members. Worship has almost become a fundraising activity.
There are tricks and emotions engaged to persuade the congregants to give.
Some pastors request their congregants to give a specified amount of money for a specific blessing. I understand that these clergy are trying their level best to survive and ensure the church operates smoothly.
I want to state that the buck stops at the congregants. This habit will go on as long as the congregants are not taught to follow the Biblical way of giving. Running a church is God’s business and He has not remained silent on how monies should be raised and managed.
Truth be told! It is a divine right for the pastor’s wellbeing to be looked after by the church without him or her being turned into a pauper.
Pastoral service is more than public service. If anything, they are chief executive officers of their churches.
Staying and working late hours and visiting sick congregants at the expense of their families are already a personal sacrifice that congregants should not take for granted. A pastor’s wife needs to look good. The children need clothes and to go to school.
This may sound presumptuous to many a congregant because, to them, the clergy’s social standing should be far below that. To such poverty is a sign of sacrifice and dedication.
They would rather the pastor lives on donations or one stands up and donates a suit in the presence of all so that the congregation is reminded of the donor each time the pastor is wearing that suit!
But that is not God’s ideal way of looking after his servants. This custom does not befit the theology of both the New and Old testaments. The Old Testament in Malachi reveals a disappointed God. He is disappointed that the congregants are robbing Him by not returning tithes. (Malachi 3:8, 9 and 10)
He entreats that each congregant who has made an earning returns a 10th or 10 percent of that earning to the house of God, in this case the church. One doesn’t need to be a theologian to understand that this passage has an imperative connotation.
God is not in any way asking the congregants to give tithe but to return it. This implies that man from creation was merely made custodian by God and everything in and on the earth still belongs to God. So the returning of the 10th of earning signifies man’s appreciation of God’s ownership. (Psalm 24:1)
If the governments of the world have managed to provide goods and services to their citizens by collecting tax, what would stop the church to have an abundance of resources if all the congregants appreciated this way of financing the church?
Paul, the greatest missionary of all time, insisted that gospel workers should be taken care of by the tithe that congregants return. (1 Corinthians 9:3-18)
It’s disgraceful and ungodly to see a pastor live on alms or turn into a pauper. God is not poor. God has order and that should be translated in the way the affairs of His business are conducted.
It should also echo in the congregants mind that no matter how many times they return a tithe, they do not do their pastor or God a favour. It’s a divine obligation expected from whomever prophesies to be a Christian.
Selling holy water, or anointing oil or putting a price tag to each and every blessing is not God’s ideal of financing the church and its clergy. Otherwise the levels of unfaithfulness in tithes and offering among congregants are very alarming and urgently need to be curbed.
The author is a chaplain for Mupapa Adventist Academy in Ndola, pursuing a BA in journalism and communication.