"I hope that pastors can face their missions with devotion to the ministry and living from the heart, who can confront the problems in their life with wisdom and faith. For the church, don't make preachers leave (the ministry) again!" Claims Rev. Zhang Yuanlai from Shenzhen in his online article entitled "Don't Make Preachers Leave (the Ministry)" posted on his WeChat platform.
The pastor cites that recently, a preacher who used to serve in a church of Hunan sold the church facilities including computers, desks and chairs and a pianodue to financial difficulties and announced that his church was closed. He found a job outside the church to support his family (his wife and son.)
Rev. Zhang holds that it's unfair to judge all the preachers who leave the church for other jobs as lovers of the world.
Payment for Chinese preachers is regarded as an old but realistic issue in his eyes. He claims that there are two main causes leading to the payment issue: church's limitation in financial capacity and the old ideas. The latter factor plays a larger role.
He explains that some churches believe that preachers that are called should not engage in other secular jobs, while he calls it as a misunderstanding. "There is no sacred or profane ministry. There is no superior or inferior work." He replies, giving the examples of Paul the apostle, who make tents for living and Robert Morrison, who was a translator.
"A man should live up to what he has already attained. Since the church can't support preachers, should it allow them to make a living by themselves? Can't you 'make tents' considering the church can't pay you?"
"Many pastors who have other jobs even create better fruits in ministry. " He adds.
Another false traditional concept reveals that the church is hard on preachers to the extent that preachers are unpaid or grossly underpaid, which may be formed due to historical reasons. The pastor points out the Biblical teaching that "the elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honor, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching. " (1 Timothy 5:17)
He speaks that it is a common phenomenon that preachers serving in traditional churches hardly support their families. So it's inevitable for preachers, struggling to make a living, finally leave the church.
Translated by Karen Luo