| Re: |
Its not that pastors are perfect. If that is what we are looking for, then pastorless churches would be the norm. Its that God calls on us to honor those who lead us spiritually, particularly those who labor in preaching and teaching (1 Tim. 5:17 ESV). In my opinion, pastoring is one of the hardest occupations on the planet. We live in a sophisticated, fast-paced, and complex world, and our expectations for high-performance pastors often set the bar at unattainable heights.
So, lets switch the focus and become high-performance church members who honor our pastors with words of encouragement and prayer. A supportive note or a thank you in the foyer will go a long way to stimulate pastors to serve with joy and efficiency.
| 2010/9/22 9:57||Profile|
| Re: |
By the way, I have a Paypal account if anybody wishes to make an offering :-)
Jimmy you always seem to funny right on time....:) That was a good laugh...thanks
| 2010/9/22 18:19||Profile|
| Re: Report Reveals Salaries of Megachurch Pastors|
The average salary for a lead pastor in a megachurch is $147,000, according to a recent survey.
Well, that's pretty good pay. I mean when you think about it, a mega church is pretty huge with mega problems coming across your desk day in and day out, if one is not on his knees seeking God, it would be a very stressful job. It's no wonder that some of these guys get into trouble with their flesh. $147,000 is really not a lot of money when you consider his position and job descriptions and what he has to do with thousands of people under him.
| 2010/9/22 19:36|
| Re: |
How judgmental! I mean, perhaps we can make general conclusions about people who make $147,000 per year, but how do any of you know that a pastor or any person who makes this amount does not turn around and direct half of it as donations to the Lord's work? You are speaking as those who have firsthand evidence, not of one case (which will not do) but of a large percentage of all pastors, to declare such a gross sin. That is why I have said we cannot judge. Jesus told us to "not judge according to appearance, but to make a righteous judgment." Fuming on this forum about what others make, whether godly or ungodly, can bring nothing good, unless we are connected directly to the one paid. In this case, we can at best comment on our own pastor only, if we have one.
| 2010/9/23 0:46||Profile|
| Sex Scandal Threatens a Georgia Pastors Empire|
the Light reveals all
September 25, 2010
Sex Scandal Threatens a Georgia Pastors Empire
By JAMES C. McKINLEY and ROBBIE BROWN
LITHONIA, Ga. Over the last two decades, Bishop Eddie L. Long has built a religious and financial empire from scratch, transforming a small, faltering church into a modern cathedral with one of the largest and most influential congregations in the country.
Today, Bishop Longs New Birth Missionary Baptist Church includes a multimillion-dollar network of charities and businesses, a private school and the Samsons Health and Fitness Center, where he holds court and pumps iron with young people.
His message that God wants people to prosper has attracted celebrities, professional athletes and socialites, swelling the membership to 25,000. The church hosted four United States presidents for the funeral of Coretta Scott King in 2006.
The rapid expansion of the church often called Club New Birth because it attracts so many young black singles has also made Bishop Long a powerful political player, especially in DeKalb County, home to one of the wealthiest black communities in the country. The church has become a mandatory stop for many politicians local, state and national and Bishop Long supports candidates of both parties.
But Bishop Longs reputation and sprawling enterprises now stand threatened by a sex scandal.
Four former members of a youth group he runs have accused him of repeatedly coercing them into homosexual sex acts, and of abusing his considerable moral authority over them while plying them with cash, new cars, lodging and lavish trips.
Bishop Long has denied the accusations in a letter sent to a local radio station and has promised to address them from the pulpit on Sunday. He declined, through his lawyer, to comment for this article.
The accusations are all the more explosive because Bishop Long styles himself a social conservative, rails against homosexuality and calls for a ban on same-sex marriage. His church even holds seminars promising to cure homosexuals.
When this comes out, it gives at least the perception of hypocrisy its like red meat to a lion, everyones pouncing on this story, said the Rev. Timothy McDonald III, a friend of Bishop Long who heads the First Iconium Baptist Church. This is the issue: how can you be against homosexuality and you are allegedly participating in it? That is the epitome of hypocrisy.
The accusations center on the LongFellows Youth Academy, an exclusive group of teenage boys handpicked by Bishop Long for spiritual mentoring.
The boys went through a bonding ritual, known as a covenant ceremony, in which Bishop Long gave them jewelry and exchanged vows with them while quoting from Scripture as ceremonial candles burned, according to court complaints filed against the pastor. Reciting Bible verses, the pastor promised to protect them from harm and called them spiritual sons.
But four former members of the group now say the real purpose of the academy was to provide Bishop Long with young men whom he could lure into sex. The men say they were past the legal age of consent when Bishop Long initiated the relationships. Still, the charges have shaken Atlantas church-going society, spurring painful conversations from kitchen tables to talk radio.
Bishop Long cuts a flashy figure in Lithonia, the Atlanta suburb where he lives and has built his church. He is often seen in a Bentley attended by bodyguards. He tends to wear clothes that show off his muscular physique. He favors Gucci sunglasses, gold necklaces, diamond bracelets and Rolex watches. He lives in a 5,000-square-foot house with five bedrooms, which he bought for $1.1 million in 2005.
His lavish display of wealth is in keeping with his theology. In his sermons, he often tells his congregation that God wants them to be wealthy and asserts that Jesus was not a poor man. By all accounts, he has been well compensated for his leadership in building New Birth from a church with a few hundred members into the largest congregation in Georgia. His televised sermons reach 170 countries.
In 2005, for instance, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution published tax records showing that from 1997 to 2000 Bishop Long had accepted $3 million in salary, housing, a car and other perks from a charity he controlled.
Were not just a church, were an international corporation, he told the newspaper in justifying his compensation. Were not just a bumbling bunch of preachers who cant talk and all were doing is baptizing babies. I deal with the White House. I deal with Tony Blair. I deal with presidents around this world. I pastor a multimillion-dollar congregation.
After the article about his compensation, Bishop Long hired a public relations firm and went on a campaign to improve his image, Mr. McDonald said. He began charitable programs to feed the poor, help struggling people with mortgages and even offer haircuts to the homeless.
The bishop used to be perceived as aloof, untouchable, with his entourage all around him, Mr. McDonald said. He started putting himself in a different light, a more positive light.
Bishop Longs critics and his defenders are waiting for an explanation of the accusations against him. Some members of the church believe he is the victim of a smear campaign by people in favor of gay rights, though they offer no proof.
Its propaganda, man, said Anthony M. Harris, 30, a businessman who says Bishop Long has served as his role model. Its retaliation for the 2004 march, the anti-gay-marriage march.
But the accusations have turned others away from Bishop Long. William Abernathy, 25, a music producer, said that he had attended the church several times this year and was considering joining, but that the accusations, coupled with Bishop Longs opulent lifestyle, persuaded him to go elsewhere.
Im going to pass on that, Mr. Abernathy said. Its like hot milk now, sitting on the curb, getting sour.
Many in the congregation, meanwhile, have been wrestling with feelings of betrayal. My heart just kind of sank, said Cheryl Jenkins, 43, who owns an accounting firm. If he says he didnt do it, we believe in him. If it turns out that he did and he apologizes, we have to accept it. No one is above reproach.
Bishop Long was born in Charlotte, N.C., where his father, Floyd Long, was a Baptist minister and owned a service station. In interviews and his books, he has described his father as a drinker and emotionally distant.
To be candid, Ive been working to remove the tentacles of nearly 40 years worth of pain and complications that came my way against my will during the first 12 years of my life, and my father was a preacher, he wrote in his 2002 self-help book, What a Man Wants, What a Woman Needs.
He studied business at North Carolina Central University, then went to work as a sales representative for the Ford Motor Company, but was fired over inaccuracies in his expense accounts. He moved to Atlanta to study theology and became the pastor of a small church in Jonesboro, Ga.
In 1987, when he took over New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, it had only 300 members and a small building. He adopted a modern image, using slang and dressing like a hip-hop mogul. He borrowed ideas from evangelical and charismatic churches and expanded his reach through cable TV.
He also adopted what has become known as muscular Christianity, a male-dominated view that emphasizes a warriorlike man who serves as the spiritual authority and protector in a family. His books on relationships suggest that men get in touch with their inner wild man and channel their fighting instincts into taking responsibility for their lives. Women are to submit to their husbands, he says.
Bishop Long has been married twice and has four children.
B. J. Bernstein, a lawyer for the four young men who claim to have been coerced into sexual affairs with Bishop Long, said the pastor exerted a paternalistic and, at times, autocratic influence over young men.
The four complaints filed in court describe how Bishop Long arranged for the church to provide cars to the young men and put them on the church payroll. Two of them also said they received free lodging in church-owned houses, where, they said, Bishop Long visited them for sessions of kissing, oral sex or masturbation. He also took them on trips to other cities and abroad, sharing rooms with them, with the knowledge of several church officials, the complaints say.
There are biblical and spiritual passages that were given to them to make them comfortable and make them believe that they were not gay, Ms. Bernstein said.
In the letter to the radio station, Bishop Long called the accusations false. We continue to categorically deny each and every one of these ugly charges, he said.
| 2010/9/25 15:13|
| Re: |
It beats working for living.
I am not sure this is a fair statement. Walking closely with senior leadership in a fairly new body, I see this leadership putting in far more hours than I do at my secular job. In fact, I would say about double. We really don't know what a person's job is like until we walk in his shoes for a while. Some leaders are overpaid. Some are underpaid. Some who make six figures deserve every penny they are paid, and some who make less than 40,000 a year don't even deserve that much. I don't think we can make a blanket statement. To simply read a dollar amount and make a judgment that it is wrong based simply on the dollar amount is often fraught with envy or a critical or judgmental attitude. We must be careful and judge righteous judgments. I would say that most pastors I have known were grossly underpaid and were faithful anyway.
| 2010/9/26 10:19||Profile|
| Re: |
You know, sometimes us Christians act if as though we will have to answer for others sins,I have never read that in my Bible. I guess secular media does not already do a good enough job of exposing our Pastors,why don't help them out here some? I will stand with Jesus on this one, "he without sin "go ahead" and cast the first stone, sad to say, but I really feel there are a few here that feel they could cast that first stone. We want to see why the world and our Pastors are in the shape it's in today? go look in the mirror.
| 2010/9/26 11:49||Profile|
| Re: |
i'm not casting stones. i'm looking for Godly models in ministry, among my brothers in Christ....as well as the leaning on the Comforter the Holy Ghost.
i'm a terrible sinner, and i cast no stones, i just pasted an article that sickened me, disheartened me, grieved me. i didnt write it, i wasnt the one that convorted with money and greed and lust and all the nasty heinous spew of the devil, and i plead the Blood of the Lamb over my small life, that i, in MY OWN way may be used of Him with integrity, authenticity and being rightly related to God.......all else is waste, unprofitability, and dross....which includes some of these turgid threads arguing this doctrine and that doctrine on this forum.
Would to God half these keyboards be seized up and fail, and if that includes mine, Praise God.
| 2010/9/26 13:31|
| Re: |
Neil, my post was not at all a personal shot, sorry if you took it that way, or maybe I read to much into your post. Look, we all are at different places in our walk, life would be boring if we were all at the same point. I personally am not at the point in my walk, to were I feel comfortable being judgmental, and that's ok, maybe one day, as I grow more in the Lord I might. We all have to listen to the Holy spirit within, and be led by that same Holy spirit,not man! We all are going to have different opinions, and trust me I respect anyone opinion here, as long as I can get that same respect. When we can all finally learn, that were all still growing, and not one of us knows it all, and not one of us here, knows what Jesus would do, but his Word will tell you what he did. Come on, lets not try and be God, I don't think he needs our help to get the Church right, if you will just relax a little you could see he is doing a fine job himself. Now if you really feel, God called you to be the Church Police, well then, I say carry on Solder.
| 2010/9/26 16:34||Profile|
| Re: |
dear Bill, forgive me for seeming strident, or unseemingly.
i have neither the calling or desire to be "Church police", nor a "watchman" etc.
when i look at both the spiritual condition IN Jesus within this nation, whther it be in the Church, the "church", politics, secular society, EVERYTHING, all i see is terrible idolatry, specifically this horrendous worship and love of MONEY, an God WILL wreak havoc on everyone/everything that worships this stinking whore called "Money".
if some besuited pastor of a megachurch wants to cash a megapaycheck, i say go for it. we each will have our turn at the Judgement Seat, a time when the word "mercy" will spring into every heart.
please forgive me if i seemed strident, i just think half these fellers are hirelings, that would run and scatter like yard chickens if they saw the knife come out. i dont have any use for them. God bless you richly, neil
ps...this pastor mentioned should read Psalm 51, and consider his ways
| 2010/9/26 19:30|