Here is the secret to getting rich as a pastor (see all 15 methods and hear the interview at Cultwatch.com):
The church leader writes (or has written) a book, usually not that good, and pressures the flock to buy it. The services are recorded and the DVD’s are sold.
Do the funds go to the people of the church, or pad the leaders pocket? To the books, did the leader write this on his own time, or did he use the churches time? Most would preach that this is stealing from your employer. Do the church people have to purchase the books and DVD’s? Haven’t they already paid for the pastor to prepare this material, why must they buy it twice? This is double dipping and unethical.
2. Hyped Conferences
The build up for these happens months in advance. Those who aren’t planning to attend are looked at as somewhat less spiritual. The bit is always the same,
He’s built a church up from nothing to one with thousands of people. She’s the most Godly woman in the universe who is the best wife ever with the best kids and the best lifestyle, and she’s the pastor’s wife too. He’s from overseas. She’s a corporate CEO. Wow. It’s going to be awesome.
The spiritual reward for going is implied to be life changing. The conference fee is nothing, compared to the fire-fighting-bomber worth of blessings and growth God will dump on your head from upon high.
I was just thinking the other day, of all the time and money that is spent planning, preparing for, and attending these conferences. How would the church (Christian people) be changed if we spent all those hours on discipleship rather than hyping conferences?
3. Cathedral Building Wars
In scripture we see the church selling land and property, in America pastors are always in the middle of a building campaign. They always claim that God is going to supply the money for this great ministry asset, if this is true, I would like to see them get the money for these facilities without saying a word to anyone. However, we all know that this is not the case, there is a money push for property at every opportunity, even more of a push on heavily attended services (Easter, Mother’s Day, etc.). The wealthy church members are given special treatment, access, and insight into the property purchase and building plans.
Are the pastors family members in high up positions in the church? This is nepotism. Keeping the money in the family business. If you see signs of this then be very aware, something is wrong. (See also, Church Mob Mentality).
A church isn’t a family business you know; it is a family, but it’s not a business.
5. Fabricated Tithing Doctrine
This is the grand puba of gaining wealth, repetition and confusing of scripture to pressure the flock to give their 10%. I have said much on this topic in the posts below:
And just for fun – David Barton, Glenn Beck on ‘Church Welfare’
The magnitude of this subject is evident in the amount of responses I get to these kinds of blog and Facebook posts. Many preachers actually stoop to personal attacks, as the facts and truth of tithing cannot be Biblically refuted.
Most likely your church utilizes at least one of these methods, but typically if they utilize one they are utilizing two, three, or all 15 methods. If you examine the congregation that you are a part of, and its leadership, and you see authenticity, and no signs of these cult practices, then you are among the minority and your church is probably sincere in serving Christ.