The Great “Commission” Based Job

Not everyone is suited for every job.

Let me give you an example.  There is no way in the world I could ever be a restaurant server or waiter.  I am pretty certain that when presented with a huge tray of food to carry from the kitchen to the table that it would be dropped somewhere along the way.  Plus, I am not the best at working with the general public, and would likely lose my temper and cram food in a patron’s face if provoked.  And, my short-term memory is not all that great, and I would struggle to remember who gets what or I would forget to get “stuff” people ask for because I am running around like a chicken with its head cut off.  In other words, I would not make much money in tips.

I just do not see my talent in a commission-based job.  Yet, plenty of people do.  They have got great personalities, great customer service skills, and the awesome patience of multiple saints.  So, if a person (like me) does not have that magical formula of skills and personality, they are not likely to go into a commission-based position.

(Just so you know, I tip really well when I go out to restaurants, because in my eyes that is one tough job and I know they work on commission to make any real money.)

Well if you do have the skills for a “commission” based job, additional compensation is likely to happen.

With commissions based on sales, the more you sell the more you make.  If you want to make a great salary and are good at sales I would become a pastor.

A pastor will get their salary based off the 10% of revenue coming in from the church they lead.  The bigger the church, the bigger the pay.  Maybe this is why God called in the GREAT commission… (just a joke)

There are a bunch of other commission based positions that do not bring in as much money on a percentage basis then what a pastor could eventually make.  A realtor typically brings in around 3% to the company they work for unless they get both sides of the deal and then it goes to 6%.  A server in a restaurant will likely get 15% to 20% but has to share that with the other workers, and I do not know what car dealers make, but I am sure it is not 10% of the revenue from all the patrons.

What a great deal.. build “your” church as big as you can get it, and make as much money as you can.  Sounds awesome… unfortunately I do not have these qualities for a commission based job, so I guess I will just “pastor” others for free. 

(Disclaimer:  This post was just an act in sarcasm, with a hint of “smartassesness”… but it should make you think a little bit about the subject of paid pastors.  I am in no way judging the morals and the motives of pastors that get paid for what they do.  I do not know their hearts.  I might disagree that there should not even be those positions at all, but it is exactly that, an opinion)

5 thoughts on “The Great “Commission” Based Job

  1. Unless a pastor is a pretty greedy person and runs one of those mega-churches, I don’t really think they make as much as you think they do…nor is there income anywhere near a reliable one.

    For one, they are largely dependent on the good will of members who faithfully give tithes. On average, I would say less than half of the folks who regularly attend church also regularly tithe the full 10% of income they are supposed to.

    And with folks not tithing nearly as much due to the bad economy (tithing is directly related to the employment of your church members as well), it’s just not the pot of gold you are assuming it is.

    Then, there’s the job itself. A little while ago, it struck me once again what a difficult job it is to be a pastor 24/7 (or anyways, one worth his/her salt). If there is anyone in your congregation who is sick in the hospital, you have to go visit them, constantly, until they are out of the hospital. You have to be the best example for Christ you can possibly be, all the time, because there’s an entire congregation watching your every move. You have to deal with any and all crises between church members in regards to the church. You have to receive the nasty messages that a disgruntled church member will inevitably leave on your phone or desk, or simply listen to them tell you in person, “This church sucks, you suck as a preacher, and I’m not coming here any more.”

    And then there’s the COUNSELING you have to do. I. E., dealing with the seriously emotionally and mentally bereft of the congregation. You HAVE to deal with people ALL THE TIME.

    While I know that this can be done, and done well, with some balance and delegation of tasks…it’s not the simple job you make it out to be. It’s tough and grueling. If you’ve ever pastored anyone yourself, you know this to be true.

    And ten to one, they aren’t getting paid NEARLY the same amount as an actual psychologist!

    Anyways, I apologize for my bit of a rant here…but I’ve been around preachers and pastors and been heavily involved in ministry itself. Taking care of a large group of people like that is no simple task, and it takes someone with genuine people skills to pull it off.

    This is why I decided to be a ministry *helper* rather than serve in any official capacity. I had my fill of learning how deep and dark folks can get some years ago, and am a bit flighty about the idea of trying to help the Troubled out of their despair. (I’m talking purely about emotions, not about donating food or anything like that.)

    1. Liz – Thanks for commenting. All good points if you think that role should exist. I am one that does not think there should even be a pastor in the role you describe.

      And if the pastor is a good salesman, he can get his congregation to grow tremendously….

      1. Do you really want a pastor who’s just a good salesman? Or do you want one who’s good at being a minister?

        Here’s another thing: full-time ministers can do something most of the rest of the congregation can’t: They can dedicate their entire careers to helping other people, which is really what being in any ministry is about.

        While yes, we should be doing this regardless, ministers have the free time to do everything I listed above, and foreign missionaries even more so. (Except foreign missionaries also have the extra added fun of dealing with culture shock and homesickness as well. Oh boy.)

        The kind of minister you are describing, the salesman, is usually not the kind who’s too concerned about the truth of God’s word. In fact, it should be the kind of person you yourself despise the most.

        What’s more, you’re assuming that the size of the congregation is directly related to how much the full time ministers are getting paid, which I think is quite a faulty assumption. Other things need to be paid for, such as the church building, the land the church is on, funding for different ministries (kid’s church, youth group, etc., plus various trips including missions), and so on and so forth.

        I can guarantee you that, for our little congregation at EOBC, our pastors aren’t exactly millionaires. 😉 Our pastor’s house isn’t actually much different from our own, which means it’s a rather small house. And with charismatic and out-spoken as Pastor Danny is, I’m sure that he could make much, much better money doing something else.

        As it is, it’s not about money for them. It’s about doing both something they love, and doing what they feel God has led them to do. Both he and his Dad are fantastic, loving, caring people, and excellent preachers to boot. What’s more, his wife Hanna also works (or she did before she got pregnant with her first; not sure about now..?)

        And getting paid any amount to do something you love that is also a great benefit to the community is just about the best situation I think a person can hope for in a career. 🙂

        So, back to my question up there: Would you rather have a mega-church preacher that’s just telling you what you want to hear because he’s a good salesman, or would you rather have a preacher who actually cares about the Gospel, and does his job by actually caring about and shepherding his congregation?

        As I said, being a minister is no simple task, and honestly, when you’re getting your hands down into the filthy depths of people’s problems, you start to realize how difficult ministry really is.

      2. Liz – We have different views on a “pastor” or “preacher” and that is ok.

        To your question… I do not want either one. I do not want a mega church salesman, and I do not want a preacher that spouts from the pulpit (even if he cares about the gospel). I just do not see the role of pastor preaching from the pulpit as biblical (but I cannot say it is wrong either)

        I just want us all as the Body of Christ to pastor (verb) or minister (verb) to each other in loving community.

  2. Liz:

    I was wondering where in the New Testament you find the job description for the position of pastor you posted. To my knowledge, the bible speaks of elders and overseers, in the plural. That is main reason for the burden and stress you have observed among pastors. One man is attempting to fulfill the role God intended for a number of elders.

    Paul instructed the elders of the church at Ephesus to work full-time jobs, in addition to their responsibilities of shepherding God’s people. Was this a totally unrealistic expectation? No, Paul intended the burden to be shared among many.

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