LISTEN: Pastor, Start a Business Or Get A Job! (BCNN1’s The Gospel According to Greenleaf Episode #22)

Welcome to BCNN1’s The Gospel According to Greenleaf Episode #22. This episode is titled, Pastor, Start a Business Or Get A Job!

Last season, Jacob Greenleaf abruptly left his father’s ministry and church and went to work for Basie Skanks’ new church plant. Now, he is out of Basie’s good graces and is doing open-air preaching, doing real church ministry, with only an online donation fund to support the work. But, he still has a wife and two children to provide for.

In the 12th episode of Season 2, “There’s More to The Story,” Kerissa, his wife, confronts Jacob about the lack of income and the raggedy house that they are living in, which he was somehow able to keep from Basie Skanks. Debts are high and the money is low. Bills are piling up, repairs need to be made to the death trap house, and him not bringing in any money is a cause for concern particularly to his no-nonsense wife. She encourages him to get a job or use the online donations to take care of expenses. But Jacob has grown super spiritual and refuses.

Kerissa’s advice to Jacob about using donated funds to pay for family funds has biblical precedent. First Corinthians 9:14 says, “The Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel.” So, if Jacob is committed to being a full-time preacher, a full-time minister and pastor, it is perfectly fine for him to take of what people have given to his ministry and use it to provide for the basic needs of himself and his family. Bishop Greenleaf shared a story with him and his wife at dinner last week, how that he got a job when he started the church, and how he worked for a while before the church could support him. Thousands of pastors have done so, and many pastors need to do so today.

Allow me to say here, not all pastors and preachers are called to full-time ministry. (On top of that, not all of God’s people give to the Lord’s ministry as they should, so that a worthy pastor who should be fulltime is not supported as he should be.) In such cases, it is perfectly fine for the preacher to have a job or to run his own business, and I recommend preachers run their own business or their profession. And I hope you understand preaching is not a profession, but a calling. A profession is soemthing like being a medical doctor, an attorney, or something like that. The Apostle Paul was employed as a tentmaker. He was what we would call today a bi-vocational pastor or a freelancer. He made and sold tents in order to provide for his own personal needs so as not to be a burden to the churches he ministered to.

Here are three reasons why many preachers today should consider getting a job or starting their own business. And again, I recommend starting your own business. Some years ago, I had the privilege of meeting with some Mennonite brethren. And even though we disagreed fiercely about some things, for example, they were against the use of computers, yet they wanted to come over to my house and use my computer, and stuff like that. Another thing we disagreed on was, they liked to do the holy kiss. That is, when they greeted each other, a handshake was not enough, they had to kiss each other on the cheek on both sides. Somebody tried to approach me like that and I nearly had a conniption fit and we parted ways. No man has ever kissed me and I know my dad kissed me when I was a baby, but no man has ever kissed me in my life, God forbid. But one thing I did learn from these Mennonite brothers, they were good at starting business that could support their family, but not only their family, their ministry and their wordwide outreach. You may see a farmer going into Wal-mart every now and then and his wife with a scarf on his head, but he is probably a millionaire. They know how to start all kinds of businesses and they live off of the businesses and they give the money to churches and to foreign ministries. So I learned a lot from them, and I want to encourage preachers to start their own businesses. But people don’t know this, but T. D. Jakes, who receives a good salary from his church, has a business on the side that pays him more than his salary. He probably doesn’t even take his salary at this point. So that frees you up and allows you to do some things and be a blessing to other people. Annyway, here are three reasons why many preachers today should consider getting a job or starting their own business.

1. With mistrust in preachers today on the rise due to the prosperity gospel and wealthy preachers owning planes and helicopters, living off of the giving of their parishioners, it is a good idea to have your own income and not be seen as taking money from the church or God’s people to live on.

2. If a preacher has a job or his own business, he does not have to worry about people refusing to support the ministry because they don’t like something that he has preached. He does not have to temper his speech in fear of people not supporting the ministry or the church; he is free to speak as the Lord leads him and let the chips fall where they may. And with the kind of church-without-walls, real church ministry that Jacob has in Greenleaf, he better get another source of income in a hurry.

3. Oftentimes, the preacher will make more than enough money from his job and especially his business and he will be able to not only cover the living expenses of himself and his family, but use the profit to support the ministry that he is called to — whether as a pastor, evangelist, missionary, church planter, or leader of a nonprofit organization. The ministry will not be solely dependent upon tithes, offerings, or donations. The ministry will go on.

If a preacher is called to full-time ministry and is blessed to have faithful supporters of the Lord’s work, that is great. But, in this day and time, it is wiser for most preachers to have their own income independent of the ministry in order to ensure that 100% of what is given to the ministry is actually used for the ministry. Every preacher should want to say with Paul in First Corinthians 9:17-18: “For if I do this thing (that is, preach the Gospel) willingly, I have a reward: but if against my will, a dispensation of the gospel is committed unto me. What is my reward then? Verily that, when I preach the gospel, I may make the gospel of Christ without charge, that I abuse not my power in the gospel.”

Let’s Pray

In closing, if you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, allow me to show you how you can be forgiven of your wicked sins of the past no matter how dark, God is available to hear your prayer of confession and to hear you ask to be saved from sin and from the punishment of sin which is eternal hell and separation from God. And you can begin a light-filled relationship with God Almighty today.

First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s laws. You have done some bad things. You have broken the commandments of God. So have I. And so has the Pope. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…” We die physically because of sin and we go to hell to burn forever, to be tormented forever because of our sin. God does not put us into hell; we put ourselves into hell because of our sin.

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ, the loving Lord of glory, preached more on hell than anybody in the Bible. He preached more on hell than he did about Heaven. He said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”

Now that is bad news, and I know most people do not want to hear any bad news. But you have to hear the bad news because the good news is good news because there is bad news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins. He is the Lamb of God who took away the sins of the world, your sins and mine. And all we have to do is trust Him and believe that He died for our sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you and me so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

And please believe these words found in Romans 10:9 & 13: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Saved from what? Saved from sin and the punishment of sin which is hell.

If you believe in your heart on the Lord Jesus Christ, that He died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer and mean it from your heart: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life — even some of the sins being brought out in this show called Greenleaf. I am sorry for my sins, and today, please have mercy upon me a sinner. I believe with all of my heart that You died for me, was buried, and rose again. Now, Lord I pray that You would fill me with Your Holy Spirit and help me to repent of my sins and to follow You for the rest of my life for Your glory, praise, and honor, and, from this point on, to be the shining light that You want me to be. In Jesus Christ’s name I pray, and for His sake, Amen.

Beloved friend, if you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! Congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is trusting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light and read my pamphlet titled, “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door.” Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

Until next time, my beloved, may God bless you and keep you. We look forward to seeing you for the next Gospel According to Greenleaf podcast.