Piper gives five pleas to pastors to avoid the temptation to get rich:
- Kill every desire to be rich and get rich.
- If you see your income starting to grow, set a governor on it.
- Be totally transparent with your fellow elders so that they know all your sources of income.
- Live simply and model for your people a way of showing that your treasure is in heaven and not on earth.
- Put in place a plurality of elders where the pastor has one vote.
If you like to read a brief interview that he did with The Gospel Coalition on these things, then head here. I’d encourage it. They came in the wake of reports of a rapidly-growing mega church pastor not being completely open financially (the pastor or the church).
As a young pastor, I admit that money and ministry is an odd duck. Some pastors don’t make enough. Some don’t think they make enough. Others make too much and don’t think they make enough. Others are simply bad pastors. But the Scriptures recognize at many turns the link between ministry and the temptation to get wealthy. I have shared multiple times with my leaders that I am perfectly content with my pay. (Mo money, mo problems, as some say.)
However, as a pastor, I personally feel as if I am to be an example to the flock. And, as such, I seek to make my financial dealings in the same way I hope those in the congregation would. I have certain priorities by which I live and we live as a family and would certainly hope that we at The Chapel could live them out together. Nobody has ever asked to see my books, but I wouldn’t be offended if they did. I’m not perfect. You’ll see missteps–one (maybe two) too many #1s at Chick-fil-A–but I hope you’d also see someone who is striving to show in all things that Christ is enough.
Because he always is. . .