Church leader gets $500k
The Straits Times
March 30, 2009
By Theresa Tan & Melissa Sim
THE New Creation Church, which made headlines for raising $19 million on one Sunday last month for its upcoming multi-million dollar building, pays good money to its staff too.
The independent church paid one employee between $500,001 and $550,000 in its last financial year, checks by The Straits Times showed.
The church did not confirm if the amount went to its leader, Senior Pastor Joseph Prince, but told The Straits Times that its policy is to 'recognise and reward key contributors to the church and Senior Pastor Prince is the main pillar of our church's growth and revenue'.
In the full article, which was carried on the front page and continued on page A6 of The Straits Times on Monday, March 30, 2008, Deacon Mathew Kang made the following statement:"Senior Pastor Prince is the key man responsible for bringing in about 95 per cent of our church's income. I must concede that he has enriched the church and not the other way round".
Some critics took issue with that statement. They argued that the church is not about growth and revenue.
I agree with them. The church is not about growth and revenue. And contrary to what some critics may think, in my view, the church is also not about charity and helping people.
For me, the church is ALL about revealing and exalting Christ. I believe that when Jesus Christ is revealed and exalted, people's lives are transformed and they are helped. And when people see Jesus and find help in Him in a church, the church cannot help but grow and prosper.
Pastor Prince has been doing a tremendous job at revealing and exalting Jesus Christ. As a result, people are being helped, and the church is growing and prospering.
Should Pastor Prince not be rewarded for what he has done and is doing for the church and the people? Of course he should. I believe few of us in the church would disagree on this. The question is: how much?
Is the half a million pay package too much or too little?
I agree with Deacon Mathew's view that it is Pastor Prince who enriches the church rather than the other way round. Let's keep in mind that in the previous financial year, the annual pay for Pastor Prince constitutes a mere 1% of the total annual revenue of the church. Now, let us ask ourselves: would the church be able to generate a revenue of $54m, if not for Pastor Prince's teaching and preaching ministry?
If there were to be people in the church who think that the church is paying too much to the pastor, and they are unhappy about it, I believe they are free to vote on the matter, either:
(a) with their hands - i.e. by stopping or reducing their giving to the church; or
(b) with their feet - i.e. by leaving the church.
As for me, I trust the church council's wisdom and decision on the matter.
And I am glad to continue to call New Creation Church my home church and to carry on with my usual tithing and offering :-)