Central Baptist Church of Southington Connecticut


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How to Make a Million Dollars in the Ministry

  • Jim Townsley
  • Mar 21, 2016
Making money is usually not the reason Baptist preachers enter the ministry. In fact, often a pastor's hope is that the church can afford to pay him a full time salary. Making money is not the highest priority in the ministry and it should have no bearing on a man's call to preach or his call to a church. A call to preach is a divine call from God where He chooses a man to lead a congregation and teach the Word of God whether or not he gets paid to do it. A real man of God should be willing, if necessary, to work a job to support himself and his family in order to maintain the role of being a pastor.
Though money should not influence a man's call to the ministry, stewardship of finances should not be neglected. Handling money properly is an important facet of a preacher's position. Any financial scandal in a church can be devastating and can even lead to criminal charges. Scripture is clear about the importance of a pastor's responsibility and his attitude toward money. The Bible states, ". . .  not greedy of filthy lucre" -- 1 Timothy 3:3"Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil." --1 Timothy 3:7
Every pastor has a responsibility to properly handle his own finances and the finances of the church. Mishandling church finances will create division that can split a church and mishandling his own finances can erode the congregation's support for him. Sound financial procedures must be followed by everyone involved with the church's money. It is important, as soon as possible, for a new church to entrust the bookkeeping to someone other than the pastor. This person must be trustworthy, they must understand their responsibility to follow the leadership of the pastor, and they must understand their accountability to the church. In addition, the treasurer/bookkeeper must follow the church's protocol in counting, depositing, and tracking the church finances. 
Receiving the offerings must be a top priority and it should never be left in the hands of one person. Two men or more should count the money and fill out a report that is passed on to the pastor and kept in a file where it is stored and available for an annual review. At the end of each accounting period the check book should be balanced and financial reports should be posted or distributed disclosing the status of the church's financial activity. Every aspect of collecting the money, counting it, depositing it, and writing checks should be carefully done so that God's money is always accounted for. 
When it comes to a pastor's personal finances it is important that the pastor be out of debt and stay out of debt! Any man that cannot handle his own finances will have difficulty handling the finances of the church.  It is not unusual for a church planter or pastor to live with a meager salary, therefore it is imperative that the preacher learn to live within his means and remain financially free so that he can dedicate the majority of his time to the ministry. 
Retirement if often not considered important or it is so far away no consideration is given to it. Preachers may boast that they will never retire. but there are reasons to make long term financial plans. Unexpected tragedies can occur.  In the case of an unexpected death, what situation would the pastor's wife face if he did not have life insurance?  The church would bear a heavy burden to care for the preacher's wife. It is important to carry life insurance to cover unexpected situations so that the church will not be financially hindered from moving forward.
If a pastor carefully plans, saves and spends less than he makes for a long time he will find that over time he can actually save a considerable amount of money for later in life. Anyone that is wise and frugal can save five percent of their income and if they do this and invest the money for forty years or more it is surprising that even in the ministry they could end up with more than a million dollars in savings. The key for anyone is to spend less than you make, do it for a long period of time, and invest the money in a reasonable way. God can provide for all our needs, but being wise stewards usually only requires restraint and discipline. However, even if a preacher serves the Lord all of his life, and through no fault of his own, he dies with little savings he more importantly has a greater reward in Heaven.