Eric is concerned about being robbed of the joy that comes through serving. He writes:
When I serve those in the church as a salaried pastor, the deeds I do may be good ones (I certainly hope so). Despite this, I do not experience the same joy that I do when I’m not paid. I cannot explain it. It may be completely subjective on my part. Regardless, I know that service within the church – as a salaried pastor – loses joy precisely because of the salary.
So, who is robbing me of the joy of serving? Is it God? No. Is it the church? No. In fact, the church has been generous to us. So who is it? This may sound a bit self-centered, but I believe I’m robbing myself of joy by receiving a salary. By accepting payment for service, ministry then becomes a job/duty rather than a joy.
This is one of the reasons I am stepping down as a salaried pastor.
I’m tired of robbing myself of the joy that comes from serving brothers and sisters in Christ.
Now, I’ll be completely honest here. I have never been in a paid (salaried) pastoral position. I have never experienced what Eric is describing. I can give testimony about the other side of things – serving without being paid.
But, I’ve often wondered about paying people to serve. Is this really service? I don’t know.
What do you think? (I’d love to hear from those who are in paid pastoral positions as well.)