Joseph Prince founder of non-profit JP ministries
Joseph Prince founder of non-profit JP ministries

This may be hard for people to receive.

Why can’t a pastor earn millions of dollars?

If a Christian layperson is allowed to earn millions of dollars, why can’t his pastor? Is there one standard for Christians and another for pastors? Don’t we all follow the same Lord? We haven’t even got rid of the clergy-laity divide, and the sacred-secular divide shows itself.

Anyway the online articles have not furnished evidence that he really earned $500,000 annually and has net worth of $5 million. In fact the article was not backed by adequate or updated data. Quoting an online post that is sensational and is trying to get more hits, is not a good way to look for facts but this is what today’s online journalism gives us.

In fact the New Creation Church leadership council has reiterated what most Singaporean Christians already know. Joseph Prince has stopped receiving a salary from the church since 2009.

What is to stop a rich attendee from donating $100,000 dollars to Joseph Prince on any given day?

Why can’t Prince benefit from the royalties of his preaching and writing?

Who is to say he has not generously and secretly been giving large sums of money to the poor?

There are pastors who are bi-vocational and very rich.

There are pastors who inherited vast sums.

Or pastors whose wives bring home the millions?

What if a pastor bought a few Apple stocks decades ago and is now a very rich man?

Why do these pastors seem more acceptable than the pastor who earned them by preaching or writing?

By the way, Billy Graham is not a pastor. And neither is Benny Hinn. They are evangelists.

Maybe now more parents will encourage their children to be a megachurch pastor – adding this profession to the list of common ones.

What is your opinion?

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  • I’m curious – what is the difference between a pastor, an evangelist and a fervent, pious member of the church community?

    • A pastor is one (whether in “full time” or otherwise) whose vocation (“calling”) is to care for God’s people. An evangelist is one (whether “full time” or otherwise) with a vocation(“calling”) to proclaim the Good News to the unsaved. A fervent pious member of the church may have the vocation (“calling”) of an administrative assistant, homemaker, professional, florist, or a salesman. Their vocations or callings are as important as that of a pastor or evangelist. Some leaders of churches have two vocations: they are farmers and evangelists, or businessmen who pastor a church.
      They are all disciples of Christ and come under the same loving Lordship of Christ. Everyone of them are accountable as stewards before God for whatever they earn or receive.

      • If I understand this correctly, a pastor is in charge of a physical church community (spiritual as well as admin functions) whereas an evangelist is not. If this is the case, then I suppose a pastor’s income should largely be from his church and the evangelist’s income should largely be from his personal engagements – books, music, events, etc.

        I think how much pastors / evangelists earn should not affect their work, but problems can arise when they preach our Lord’s Gospel, which to be honest contains many references to the dangers of being rich (eg ‘it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to go to heaven’, ‘do not store up treasures on earth which can rust …’, story of the rich man and Lazarus, etc etc).

        So some of these pastors downplay or avoid the above Gospel verses entirely, which will seem at odds with their own personal wealth and seemingly lavish lifestyle. Or worse still, imply in their Gospel preaching that becoming materially rich is actually part and parcel of the Lord’s promised salvation.

        • Hi servant, I now understand why you asked the earlier question. The worker is worthy of his wages, the ox that treads should be able to eat from the grain that it treads. It seems to me that how that is done depends on the arrangements of the church or organizations that a pastor or evangelist works for, with or under. Evangelist Billy Graham receives a salary from Billy Graham Evan. Association and has not profited directly from the sales of his books or tapes. Pastor Rick Warren benefited from his best seller, The Purpose Driven Life. I do not know the exact arrangements with Joseph Prince but he does not receive any salary from the New Creation Church. How each recipient of God’s plenty manages the wealth that lands on their lap is a matter of personal stewardship and accountability of each person, whether evangelist or pastor or layman, to God? Pastor Rick Warren’s stewardship of Gods’ plenty is well documented in articles online. We read nothing of Billy Graham’s or Joseph Prince who may have given in secret or in ways we do not know. We do not know enough to judge.

          It is true that “some of these pastors downplay or avoid” verses that disparage the love of money and the dangers of putting your trust in accumulation of wealth. I would hope that they are deliberately emphasizing the practice of generosity when God puts wealth in your hands, rather than attacking the love of money, so that they are not mistaken by hearers as always being negative and denouncing those who are rich rather than the love of money. Of course there are others who do what you say in the last paragraph and preach a gospel that is not in accordance to the teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ.

          There is of course a need for more transparency and it would have been better if public figures like these can disclose more information about sources of income, financial entities and instruments, and arrangements made. In the case above New Creation Church could have given more information towards this rather than just that JP does not draw a salary and his income for the year was less than what was speculated by the websites.

          Thank you for your comment as we do need reminders every now and then.

  • You never see these so called pastors put their churches in poor areas….neither have I ever seen them involved. Hillsong has a megachurch near me and the tithes are not shared in the local community ever…

    • Hi Daniel
      Thanks for visiting my blog and commenting. It would be great if all rich churches share their blessings with the poor and needy. This will only bring fame to His name. Recently a megachurch got into the firing line of social media simply for its slowness in responding to hurricane evacuees. As I understand it, New Creation Church have donated a kidney dialysis center for the needy in the past though I don’t know if they have done anything in the recent year.

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