I’ll start out with a couple of disclaimers – I am not and have never been in full time paid ministry and I do not believe that it is “wrong” for pastors to be paid a salary.
Even though I do not think it is wrong for pastors to be paid a salary I do not think that it is the best way for the church to operate. I think that it causes the church to have to be managed like a business, the congregation to have an unhealthy dependence on the paid staff of a church and tends to silent prophetic proclamation. I know many wonderful people who earn their living by being on staff at churches but I think the system needs to be dismantled.
Many of the comments I hear talk about “all the things” that a pastor has to do. IMO all of those things should be shared by those who are members of the community. The problem is that the present system causes the members of the community to believe that the pastor should be doing those things because he is paid and the pastor to believe that he should be doing all those things because he is being compensated. Perhaps one reason most Christian’s are unaware of what spiritual gifts are bestowed upon them is because the system we have created implies that “the working body” of the church is made up of a few people who are on staff.
I know they are far and few between, but, there are groups of Christians meeting in the world without a paid staff and where the work of ministry is done by everyone in the group. So … it is possible to do it differently.
In addition, it appears to me that a lot of “the things that have to be done” in churches today are things that have to be done to keep “the system” running and “the system” seems to resemble a country club a lot of times with all of it’s internal programs and activities.
I am always hearing that there is a problem these days getting college aged and young adults to attend/get involved in a local church but they aren’t the only ones. Many middle aged and older adults, like myself, who have devoted most of their lives to “the church” are leaving the church (if not physically, then emotionally) because it has become more of a hindrance than a help in our spiritual journey.