Should a Full-Time Pastor Work?

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Senior Member
Jun 1, 2015
Many a church leader is of the opinion that a full-time Pastor or any other ministry gift, should not work or engage in any personal business. These include those just starting up a church, with very few members and those who are called to public evangelism.

I have discussed and debated this issue with a few church leaders, called into “full-time” ministry; and most of them argue that someone called to be a full-time gospel minister shouldn’t work…

But after a while, these same leaders, after going through some financial challenges, eventually bend to my position and start doing some business to take care of their families.

While others that hold on strongly to the notion that God doesn’t want them to work at all, eventually end-up engaging in some dishonest practices to take care of themselves and families.

They go about pressurizing their members and other people to give to them. Some use unscriptural tactics to get money from people…

Some others begin to use church funds for personal needs without accountability. Some borrow from church funds in their possession without paying back. Then some escalate project costs to make undue profit. This is just to name but a few.

As a result of these errors by church leaders, we want to find out from scriptures, if a full-time Pastor or any other ministry gift should engage in secular work /business or not.

And if they are to work, how are they to combine it with ministry work and remain effective…?

Who is a Full-Time Pastor or Minister?

The concept, Full-Time and Part-Time Pastor or minister, is actually a human concept. There is no such distinction in scriptures. Every called minister of the gospel is a full-time minister.

Be him an Apostle, Prophet, Pastor, Teacher or Evangelist—they are all Full-Time Ministers. All are supposed to make their ministerial calling number one on their priority. All are to make a full proof of their ministries.

Hence scripturally, everyone called to be a minister of God in any capacity is a Full-Time minister. There was no one referred to in the scriptures as a Full-Time or Part-Time Pastor or minister.

So Should Every Full-Time Minister Work?

A minister of the gospel should primarily feed from the Tithe and offering from the members he ministers to. And also from wilful seeds from members to them. But Tithe and Offering is not only for the minister’s needs.

The church also uses part of the Tithe and Offering for other ministry expenditures; such as: paying of bills, Pastors’ Transfer, Church Renovation, etc. And by the time all these have been handled, what is left for the ministers’ honorarium, many a time, is not enough to really get by with their family needs.

Added to this, is the fact that many members with needs in the church, are apt to run to the Pastor for financial support, of which a conscientious Pastor must have to do something.

And with little or no money left with the Minister, he is bound to fall into diverse temptations. Especially if he already has a wife and children…
In short, many Full-Time ministers of the gospel actually have serious marital and family crisis; and sometime, even marital break-up; majorly for financial reasons.

And this is the reason I believe the Apostle Paul worked as a tent-maker where ever he found himself. And even sometimes, farmed; then he admonished us to work as well (See Acts 18:1-3; Acts 20:33-35).

For instance, I am called into Full-Time teaching ministry. And I was led into the city I currently reside by God to start up a church for my ministry. And by God’s grace, since we came to this city, the ministry has been growing from strength to strength.

Even though, when we first came to the city, it was very challenging financially. But barely some months-- less than a year-- everything normalized and even got better than we lived, before we came here…

Because while we were about moving to this town, God told me in my heart, that he was going to increase me. And of course, I knew the increase the Lord meant was not only financial, but also spiritual and otherwise.

And since we came here, that has been the case. We have been increasing spiritually, ministerially and financially on daily basis…

But I do work. Coupled with my ministerial work, I am also into freelance Software/Web Development and Internet Marketing Consulting. God has been (and still) supplying for my family through these trades and my wife’s job.

And as such, I am able to care for my family (a wife and a child), then I am also able to help those in need as the Lord leads. And most importantly, I don’t get to pressure anyone into giving to me.

The ones that do give do so willingly; and I even sometimes reject some of the gifts when I don’t deem them fit.

Hence, my counsel is that, a Full-Time Pastor that is just starting a church or ministry, with little member base, should use his spare time to work, instead of sleeping and moving about.

Then for those with large congregation already, they can invest their personal money into business (or businesses) and delegate people to manage the business. Then their only responsibility should be overseeing. This is never a sin.

This will enable the minister, carry out his ministry with more integrity and dignity.

I once read the book of a popular man of God with one of the largest church congregation in the world. And somewhere in the book, he mentioned that he is the C.E.O of four companies.

And yet he is still very effective in ministry. God still uses him mightily in word and manifestation of his power.

Hence, from scriptural authority, a full-time Pastor or minister should work to take care of his needs and that of his family and others effectively-- even if he receives honorarium. But he must ensure his secular work does not deter or encroach into his ministerial work.

Remain Blessed!

Emeke Odili


Senior Member
Jul 2, 2011
Paul lived in his own rented or hired house for two years teaching to all who would hear to all who came in to hear him. This does not say he workded though.

Paul teaches if a person does not work, he does not eat.

Now Paul wass in a house while a church assembly would be a different kettle of fish.

It is written a workman is worthy of his wage, and a full time minister who is working a servant to God and his fellow man is worthy of pay.

Also it is written you must not muzzle the ox when he is treading out the wheat....

All the above in consideration, it all depndes on whether or not the minister is truly minst6ering and not just using the Gosple as a means to material gain only.


Senior Member
Jul 31, 2013
Paul is the one who defended the idea that a person working for the gospel is justified to have his needs met by the gospel. But Paul is also the one who said he worked all this time, as he could when he wasn't imprisoned, so that he put no burden on the people and no one could say he was living off what they gave him.

So I don't think it's right to say a preacher 'should' live from donations from the congregation, and 'shouldn't' take a job outside of ministry to care for himself and/or his family. If that were the case then Paul did, as an example for others, what they 'should not' do.

Instead the example we have is that it is good not to put such a burden on the congregation, though it's not wrong for a workman to receive his wage. Yet we work for a heavenly reward, not an earthly one, right?


Senior Member
Jun 30, 2015
The Scriptures teach that a person ministering the gospel is to receive his material support from the gospel... that is, from the voluntary contributions given by those receiving ministry (per Galatians 6:6).

However, the Scriptures teach with adequate clarity that tithing is not required of Christians. Voluntary contribution is strongly encouraged, but tithing (giving a tenth of one's increase) is not.

Many pastors and teachers mix up "tithing" with "giving" and so muddy the waters on this matter. They are not the same thing, and using "tithing" to mean "giving" confuses people, leading them to think that they must conform to an old-covenant practice (from which the blood of Christ freed us completely). That means the people they teach are under unscriptural pressure to give!

Posthuman covered the issue of those in ministry who are also working to support themselves. As Paul did so, those in ministry today should be prepared to do so, at least for a time. Where their ministry is able to support them, then they can back away from market work.


It depends on circumstances. If the person is a pastor of a small church which doesn’t provide sufficient work or can’t support a pastor, then maybe the pastor also needs part time work.

If the church work becomes a full time job then I see no reason for them to have any other work.

There are also people who are in full time ministry but don’t have churches. But who travel around taking tent crusades, preaching teaching in other churches etc.

Long and short if it, if it’s God’s will, then God will open doors for them and provide in some form or other. God is no man’s debtor.

By the way years ago in my first church our old minister retired. There was a manse (small house) attached to the church where him and his wife lived. It was built years back when the congregation was larger and with funds from an affiliated organisation. Our minister was full time but I know his salary wasn’t that great. The congregation paid him what they could afford. He had no problem with that as he was also a retired school teacher so also had his pension. It worked out fine.

Then when he retired from being a minister 10 years later.

A new younger minister came with wife and 5 children. They couldn’t fit in the small house attached to the church. He knew that when he took the job also was fully aware he would have to find somewhere to live plus knew the salary offered.

Yet within a year of becoming the minister and finding a house to rent in the area. He asked the congregation to buy him a house! Hardly anyone in the church owned their own house they rented too. (I had already left that church by then as there were lots of other issues too). But his insistence that a house was bought for him resulted in most of the congregation leaving. All except a handful of elderly people!

What a shame!
Feb 7, 2017

  • "For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat." (2Thess 3.10).
Today we don't need anyone to teach us about Jesus and His word:

  • "But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him." (1John 2.27).


Banned Serpent Seed Heresy
It is my opinion, that a pastor, or teacher of God's Word, should engage in some form of "gainful employment." Inasmuch, as in the "truer" teaching/feeding of the flock? Many ears would NOT be "tickled" into contributing towards that pastor's/teacher's sustenance of survivabiltiy in the flesh.

The main reason being, that the "truer" teachings of Christ, and the Apostles/Disciples, rather MANDATE, that each believer, EVENTUALLY become the pastor/teacher, themselves! In my opinion, it is THIS "burden" to which gives "fertilizer" to the enemy, and "traditions of man's" increased yieldings of reproducing more of the same! It's "kind" of like, when after God "appointed" His "hand-picked" Judges, in the O.T., It didn't take too awfully long, before "apostasy" of the nation of Israel, "dictated" upon this hand-picked judge, in his, bringing this "petition of the people" unto God Himself! And ya think the Father wasn't grieved? Con'trare! So you are of a mind, that thinks this SAME "apostasy" is not STILL going on? Again, I say! Con'trare!

A wise man, should have an ability in "seeing" the speed, and intensity of this apostasy, as an "indicator", of where in these "cycles of history" we are heading towards, that something YUUGE is going down. Meaning, in my opinion, God has "given" us a Miracle, in the White House. Not just for these several United States, but, yea, for the whole world! It would be to our advantage, that this time be made of the utmost use. As it is, of the utmost importance!

Meaning? NOW, would be the time for "denying" those ears, who so want to be tickled, in the "churches of stone!" If that requires a pastor/teacher to seek gainful employment? It would be to his, and his family's credit, to do so! :)

Saying this would be an "easy" task? I would be lying! But, it's not a popularity contest, God is running! It's "WAR!" "All's "fair", in Love and War!" NOT, "All's "fair" in Love IN War!" For this is the weakness, the enemy EXPLOITS, in "stony grounded" believers! Using the "withering of the heat" (of battle), to inject (a) "tolerance" into the believers themselves! (so?) Traditions of man, is the result of this.


Senior Member
Aug 17, 2015
Paul was a very noble person. He worked in nights (making tents) so that he could have enough money for missions, without taking from others.

Today's pastors are not so noble, generally. Some of them even want money from people for private jets.

Eternal glory to all exceptions.


Senior Member
Apr 18, 2013
Paul was a very noble person. He worked in nights (making tents) so that he could have enough money for missions, without taking from others.

Today's pastors are not so noble, generally. Some of them even want money from people for private jets.

Eternal glory to all exceptions.

This is very narrow minded.

Jesse Duplantis only wanted 4 customized private jets because he really really needed them to do his ministry.

You can't expect a humble servant of God to fly coach.


Sep 4, 2012
I think it's a good idea for pastors to work to support themselves. That way the temptation to be men-pleasers is minimized because they don't have to worry about offending those on whom they are depending for their livelihood.


Senior Member
Feb 4, 2016
Many a church leader is of the opinion that a full-time Pastor or any other ministry gift, should not work or engage in any personal business. These include those just starting up a church, with very few members and those who are called to public evangelism.

I have discussed and debated this issue with a few church leaders, called into “full-time” ministry; and most of them argue that someone called to be a full-time gospel minister shouldn’t work…
I know unpaid preachers who do an excellent job and I also know professional pastors who are real men of God. My personal opinion is that churches can do better with unpaid ministers.

Suppose I have to move to a small village in the countryside where there are no churches. Soon I learn that there are some Christians living in that area and I contact them. Soon we decide to start congregating in our homes. We do everything under God's guidance and the church grows. Brothers and sisters are ordained/appointed to different ministries and functions.

Ten years later we have our own temple, several elders and deacons, Sunday school teachers, counselors, greeters and janitors. If God has blessed us so far why should we now hire a professional pastor?


Senior Member
May 17, 2013
It is not right to muzzle the ox that treads out the grain.

God will see to it that His man is cared for in the finances. If the church is able and does nothing to support the pastor then they do not deserve a pastor.

For the cause of Christ


Senior Member
Oct 13, 2017
This is not a simple issue. It depends on the size of the congregation. A small church with too few members can't afford a full-time minister and the work the pastor does as a minister is less time consuming than a much bigger church requires. As the church size increases multiple ministers are required to adequately service the congregation. At 73 have been in all kinds of sizes of congregations including before I was in grade school. I served as both elder and deacon in reformed theology denominations. In those churches I served in the minister was paid a salary and had a small pot of money to give to people in need he came in contact with. For bigger amounts he asked the deacons to deal with with the situation and usually 2 deacons would handle it. All ministers I worked with preferred this since it removed temptation from them.