the word on salaries

it shouldn’t be a surprise that pastors don’t typically make a lot of money nor do they go into the ministry for the paycheck. that probably goes double in the chinese church. but how much do we get paid or should we get paid? how is this magical number actually derived? i know there are different models out there.

daniel so has done some great reflecting on the treatment asian american youth workers endure among other things as well as dialoguing with mark oestreicher, pres of youth specialties who we mentioned in earlier posts. he lends his thoughts to how asian american youth workers are treated after reading the book, asian american youth ministry edited by djchuang. i find marko’s comments interesting.

i think the only way it will change is if:
1. a handful of asian american youth workers put their foot down and communicate that this is their calling.
2. and, they are able to do this in a rare church that validates their calling (this validation shows in words, support, resources, salary, and other ways).

i wish it were only that easy. this is not just a dilemma for aa youth workers but aa pastors overall.

the l2foundation blog further asks how can we begin to bring up biblical and theological reflection about church finances and salaries and have an honest dialogue about it?

The Scriptures in 1 Timothy 5:17-18 clearly states fair wages are due for those who shepherd the church as pastors, and by inference, youth pastors and youth directors too:

The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honor, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching. For the Scripture says, “Do not muzzle the ox while it is treading out the grain,” and “The worker deserves his wages.”

How does this passage get read in an Asian cultural context? What would it take to bring things to light as a church, since we are children of the light, so that honest conversations can happen about how we manage church finances and salaries?

asian cultural values makes this a very complex thing.

i’m curious as to whether there has been a survery done on the salary breakdown for asian american churches. is there a difference between korean and chinese churches with regard to this issue? from my conversations with my korean counterparts, “double honor” appears to be practiced more often than in the chinese church context. actually i don’t know of any chinese churches that actually honor double honor. rather, the prevailing expectation is that pastors must live a life of sacrifice. therefore a lower salary is an imposed protection for the pastor. please correct me if i’m wrong.


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[american born chinese pastor]
seeks to be that third place for those who are american born chinese [abc] in ministry.
here we may explore issues unique to the chinese church and doing ministry in that context
expand the intersection of asian american culture and christian faith
or simply expose what goes on in the mind of this abcpastor

this may be a bit ambitious or even naiive but i do hope that through the posts we can bring together different faith communities, passions for the advancement of the Gospel and the equipping of the body of Christ.

if you are an abc pastor or have any suggestions or would like to contribute to make this space evolve, just comment.


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