the weblog of Alan Knox

Comment Highlight: When pastors/elders work a full-time job outside the church

Posted by on Sep 28, 2011 in comment highlights, elders, office | 4 comments

Comment Highlight: When pastors/elders work a full-time job outside the church

Marc from “Back to the Master” left a good, thought-provoking (I hope) comment on my old post “Pastors and Churches and Salaries.”

I think Marc makes a valid point that church leaders should consider. What do you think?

Here’s his comment:


Years ago, I served as the preacher for a church with about 150 members. One of the wonderful things about this church is their willingness…and just about mandate…that I have outside employment. This worked out for several reasons.

1. It freed up funding to be used for foreign missions
2. It encouraged members of the church to become involved in ministry and not just rely on the preacher
3. It made the elders take a leadership role.
4. It allowed me to preach what I felt the Spirit was leading me to say, without fear of being fired.

I’m ALL for the idea of having pastors/preachers work in a full-time job outside of the church. Makes sense spiritually and financially.


Comments are closed. If you would like to discuss this post, send an email to alan [at] alanknox [dot] net.

  1. 9-28-2011

    Reason #4 is exactly the reason most churches would never entertain this notion. It’s specifically the reason one senior pastor told me that his church would not allow him to take an outside job in the workforce even though he wanted to do this so that they could give the funds to support the poor in their community.

  2. 9-28-2011

    I would like to know if this was the policy before Marc became part of that assembly or after he was there. If after, I would also think it profitable to have the testimony of some of those others who were forced to change by this arrangement (the laity side of the divide).

    Also would be interested in knowing what they did when Marc left. Was his a position that had to be “replaced”, or did the functioning elders carry on, etc.

  3. 9-28-2011


    I fully support all four points.

    Keith has a correct understanding of that particular point. On several occasions in years gone by,I have been reminded that I was simply a paid worker, once angrily told that I was “an employee to be directed by the deacons”.

  4. 9-28-2011

    The only thing that I would add to this is that it will not work in most churches unless both the church and the paid pastors agree to the situation. From what I’ve found, one or the other (the church or the paid pastors) does not want to make the necessary changes.