In many ways, the modern-day Christian Church resembles a business industry. The success of a congregation is determined by how many clients – in this case, Christians – it services. As technology improves, businesses becomes more efficient and so has the Church. What are televangelists, if not marketing coordinators? And what distinguishes super-churches from other global corporations? The only factor by which most of today’s churches divert from the traditional business model is their non-profit tax status.
First and foremost, most pastors are entrepreneurs. Like any other type of business, if a church is successful, it’s owner become richer. Most pastors adapt to the laws of supply and demand – preach whatever attracts more followers – to improve their business model. If they succeed, they expand (relocate their church), invest into marketing (put up professionally designed ads, hire telemarketers to ask for donations over the phone, etc.) and acquire assets ( usually by signing pro choir singers and paying for airtime on TV).
It should be noted that, though they’re rare, there are exceptions. Not all pastors are cynical liars – some are sincerely living what they preach. These are honest, kind and admirable people who every single person, regardless of faith, can learn something from. Unfortunately, nowadays the truth is – they are one-in-a-million.
For obvious reasons, there’s no way to determine the annual turn-around of an average church. Most people don’t realize just how rich American pastors are. To get a better idea, use our list of the wealthiest U.S. pastors. If the leader of your church is one of them, you may want to change your mind about donating.
1. Noel Jones
Bishop Noel Jones had a long but steady career. He earned a PhD from the International Circle of Faith and became the pastor of a Los Angeles community church. Over the next few years, his congregation grew from around 1,000 people, to almost 20,000. Jones had an additional building constructed by his church to accommodate everyone comfortably.
He has declared $5,000,000 in assets last year, though he claims most of it came from the gospel album released by his church’s choir. The City of Refuge Sanctuary Choir really was successful, appearing on Billboard’s 100 list and topping the gospel charts. But Jones is the only choir member who made millions on the record.