Recently, there's been a dust-up over a mega-church pastor in Charlotte and his new mansion. The reporting has been kinder than one might expect, which says a few things I won't go into here.
Being a mega-church pastor, aside from the spiritual implications, is not a bad gig. You can make a ton of money and you don't have to work very hard. Granted: there are spiritual implications, but from a completely secular, pragmatic point of view, its a nice way to earn a living.
But there's a problem that I haven't seen discussed yet. It is not simply that one can choose to be a mega-church pastor, and go open a mega-church. You see, almost all of these folks have built their church from the ground up. In other words, not just any Tom, Dick, or Steven can be a mega-church pastor. One needs to be gifted. (I didn't say talented. More on that shortly.)
So what's the problem? Aren't NFL athletes gifted, and that's why they make a bunch of money? Well, yes. But don't forget about all the hard work they have to do to take advantage of that gift and the additional hard work to stay at the top of their game. And I suppose you could argue that some of these mega-church pastors work hard too, as performers, as stand-up comedians, and so on. But let's get back to the gifted part. Where do you suppose that gift comes from?
Do you think there are any additional spiritual implications for those who are gifted at that level and choose to take advantage of the gift in a secular (that is, financial) way? Joyce Meyer is a gifted speaker. Creflo Dollar is a charismatic personality (no pun intended...really). Kenneth Hagin was a convincing preacher. All these have used their gifts for personal financial gain well beyond just about anyone's definition of 'paying the worker their wages'. There's even a new TV series about a certain group of these folks. (Disclaimer: I haven't watched an episode, and likely won't.)
Kinda makes me nervous. Shouldn't it?