Seminary Student Shares Her View on Preachers’ Payment

Rural Preachers' Dilemma
Rural Preachers' Dilemma (photo:
By Grace ZhiMarch 13th, 2017

Sister Chen, a young seminary student who serves in an urban church of the coastal region of China, shares her perspective on preachers' salary.

Two years after graduating from university, she became a full-time preacher. For work demand, she is pursuing study in theology in Nanjing Union Theological Seminary(NUTS) and now she is in her junior year.

Different from the church where Mu Sheng, a preacher who receives little payment, Sister Chen serves her church with a perfect system which pays preachers "much higher compensations compared to many churches in China."

For the financial struggles Mu Sheng faced, she has sympathy even if she is never treated like that. The congregation of her church loves pastors and preachers and the church staff generally don't receive donations from believers.

In the seminary she learns about the real circumstances that many preachers from inland regions are in, feeling sorry for their poor conditions. She adds that the payment system varies based on different areas.

"For example, my roommate says that she earns a monthly wage of around 800 yuan, but many believers (there) love preachers, who provide financial assistance to them. " says Chen, "Anyhow, preachers will meet financial challenges one way or another."

Regarding the payment issue, she agrees with the view reflected in Proverbs 30:8-9, "Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread. Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, 'Who is the LORD?' Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God."

In her eyes, the majority of full-time preachers have strong faith despite the fact God uses some difficulties to test people. She claims, "If the church has a perfect system that pays preachers in a reasonable way, the instance would be avoided that preachers waste so much time on struggling on whether they have faith or not."

The undergraduate believes that the urgent thing for preachers is to save souls and nurture people. "If preachers are troubled about surviving every day, how can they concentrate on their service ?" 

Translated by Karen Luo

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