"When I left seminary and took my first church, I discovered my pay was to be determined by the base salary of a used car salesman. It seemed that the chairman of the board owned a used car lot, and felt that "If it's good enough for my salesmen, it's good enough for our pastor." Except, the salesmen also made commissions-I didn't. Without something more than a base salary, my wife and I just couldn't make it, even though we tried. Foolishly, I allowed us to get $4,000 in the hole before I quit the church a year later. My feelings? To be perfectly honest, If felt bitter and disappointed-physically abused."
¥ A true story? Yes. A typical story? Not likely. Horror stories about how the average minister and spouse are forced to live have been around for years. Likewise, there are stories about the preacher who counts a bushel basket full of cash every Sunday morning in a small room off the sanctuary. The assumption that preachers are "fleecers" like Elmer Gantry, or "fleecees" like the hapless ...1