Is it okay for pastors to get paid for ministering?


by Matt Slick

Yes, it is okay for a pastor to get paid for ministering to people.  The Bible says in 1 Cor. 9:3-10,

"My defense to those who examine me is this: 4 Do we not have a right to eat and drink? 5 Do we not have a right to take along a believing wife, even as the rest of the apostles, and the brothers of the Lord, and Cephas? 6 Or do only Barnabas and I not have a right to refrain from working? 7 Who at any time serves as a soldier at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard, and does not eat the fruit of it? Or who tends a flock and does not use the milk of the flock? 8 I am not speaking these things according to human judgment, am I? Or does not the Law also say these things? 9 For it is written in the Law of Moses, "You shall not muzzle the ox while he is threshing." God is not concerned about oxen, is He? 10 Or is He speaking altogether for our sake? Yes, for our sake it was written, because the plowman ought to plow in hope, and the thresher to thresh in hope of sharing the crops."

Paul is teaching us here that those who work at something have the right to make a living from it.  This is a basic and simple principle that is found in the scriptures.  In 1 Tim. 5:18, Paul says, "For the Scripture says, 'You shall not muzzle the ox while he is threshing,' and 'The laborer is worthy of his wages.'"

Clearly, those who work in the ministry are allowed to make a living from the ministry.  This is especially true when we realize that ministers work more than 40 hours a week and are usually on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  If someone says that ministers should not be paid for their labors, they ignore the word of God which says that they can be paid.


About The Author

Matt Slick is the President and Founder of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry.