Skip to content

Donnie McClurkin displeased with Prosperity Pastors

October 6, 2010

This past week, popular preacher, recording artist and pastor, Donnie McClurkin, went on record to declare his deep disappointment with what  he sees as pastoral abuses in the body of Christ. His comments have raised a legitimate question about abuse and excesses in the body of
 Christ and has brought attention to a topic that has largely been ignored in the church community.
 In an article appearing in Essence this past week Pastor McClurkin is quoted as saying:
 
 “As pastors, we have to link arms and have bi-partisanships. The [Black] church has always been the face of the community. Now we have to take on the responsibility of becoming true servants to the people from all walks of life. I get so mad when I see these pimpin’ preachers driving Rolls-Royces, Bentleys, flying around in their private jets, and making it seem like prosperity and money is the way of God when 90 percent of your congregation is on Section 8 or can’t figure out how they are going to keep their lights on or feed their kids. I’m big on perception, and what would it look like for me to live so lavishly if the people in my church are struggling?” says Pastor McClurkin in the article.”
 
 In venting his frustration over the behavior of some in the church community, Pastor McClurkin reveals his own humility and sense of service to God and God’s people, by outlining his own relationship, financial and otherwise, with his church and his refusal to take revenue from a congregation that he has built from the ground up.
 
“I’ve done great in gospel music, and only a few of us have accomplished what I have, and guess what? I live in the ‘hood, not some place on the outskirts of the ‘hood. There ain’t no gate around  my house; I have a white fence because the people I pastor live in that community. I have one vehicle and it’s not a Mercedes, it’s a Lincoln Navigator. I don’t receive a dime-not an Abraham Lincoln copper coin-and haven’t for the last seven-and-a-half years because I’m okay.” He tells Kenya Byrd of Essence Magazine.
 
As such, Pastor McClurkin has become a model and an example for others to emulate. His mentality and actions, that places a greater emphasis on service than profit, can only be admired by all of those who love the Lord and are seeking to do His will to the best of their ability.
Pastor McClurkin makes it clear that he has options, but chooses to live a modest and humble lifestyle because that’s what God has called him to do.
 
If I wanted to buy a Phantom or Bentley I could and not hurt my pockets, but I’m okay with what I have. I can sing and work and I have all that money go back into the church so we can buy the delicatessen on the corner, or the house next door to make it state-of-the-art low-income housing. We’ve trained our people to put their leaders on pedestals, and some people want to live vicariously through their pastor and say, “My pastor has this and he’s on television and so on,”
but then what do you have? How have you prospered and grown? So when I hear other pastors say, “My people take care of me,” I’m thinking, But you’re supposed to be taking care of the people. I just don’t get it. Pastor McClurkin goes on to say.
 
What is best gleaned from the wisdom and honesty of Pastor McClurkin is his healthy attitude about the church and who it belongs too. His “ecclesiology”, which is worthy of our consideration, perhaps best represents what Christ had in mind when He gave pastors to the body of Christ in the first place.

I don’t have a church, but I do have a church that I pastor… I can’t name something the Donnie McClurkin Temple because the people do not belong to me and if they did that would mean I have slaves. I am simply a vessel to deliver God’s word. At the end of the day, it’s God’s church, not mine advises Pastor McClurkin.

What do you think? Does Donnie McClurkin have an axe to grind, is he bitter or is he genuine?

Advertisements
25 Comments leave one →
  1. LaTanya permalink
    October 6, 2010 6:15 pm

    I believe that Pastor McClurkin was right on point with everything that he said. I had this conversation with a family member not long ago. My question was” what happened to real Pastors” Growing up I had a real Pastor like the one the Pastor discribed in his Essence Interview. My Pastor lived humbled and took care of his flock.

  2. October 6, 2010 6:23 pm

    I LOVE IT! One of the reasons that I left the church was because as a child I watched my mother work hard but never move forward financially. As an adult I realized that the Pastor of the church lived very well, he owned his own home, his child went on to college and is now very successful financially. I began to wonder why our pastor was not sharing information with my mother and others in the church to help improve their lives. My mother paid her 10% faithfully even though she could not afford to do so because she believed it was her duty. I am nearing 50 and I am just learning what our pastor could and should have shared 40 years ago.

    Lucille Tyler Baldwin
    Author of “Sick and Tired of Being Broke”
    http://www.thejourneytowealth.blogspot.com

    • G. Townsend permalink
      October 17, 2010 5:52 pm

      I can relate to this.

  3. Perspective permalink
    October 6, 2010 6:37 pm

    Ok, I so feel by brother Donnie McClurkin and his frustrations with the abuse of power from leaders. However, we have to maintain the biblical order and perspective. It is right for the house of God to take care of the leaders, as it was commanded by God to the tribe of Israel to take care of the Levites and the Priest. The Levites were the only tribe who did not receive an inheritance from the Lord and he stated to them, “I am your portion’. He left the care of the Levites to the remaining tribes to give portions of their blessings to the house of the Lord that the Levites may give their lives to seeking the face of God and understanding his commandments. The fault lies, with the spirit of filthy lucre and the abuse of powers from leaders. I love Pastor Donnie and again understand his frustrations, but God has blessed him w/multiple gifts that support his livelihood. Other Pastors may not be as privileged, therefore, it is right for them to leave the employment sector and dedicate themselves solely for the pure, true and rich Gospel of Jesus Christ.

  4. Jacquelyn Kyler permalink
    October 6, 2010 6:56 pm

    I commend Rev. McCLurkin. I am the niece of a well known minister in the south. My uncle is deceased now, but the fondest memories I have of him were his service to the church’s congregation and the local community. Even though he could have dwelled upon the rich history of the church or his appointments to many boards and associations; he remained an humble servant until his demise. I recall him using his own money to purchase medicine, pay bills, grocery shop, just to name a few instances; for many of his elderly members. He would make every graduation, school play, birthday party, retirement dinner, etc; even splitting engagements with his wife to make sure that one or the other attended an event that he had been invited to. He never had an assistant and you never had to schedule an appointment to see him. You could always call him at home, his phone number was listed, and everyone knew where he lived. Rev.McClurkin is a rare and much needed shepherd in today’s church.
    “A charge to keep I have……a God to glorify….” Amen!

  5. Mahalia permalink
    October 6, 2010 7:22 pm

    Im in agreeement with Pastor Mc Clurkin adn his stance on this isue! Ive always admired him and that is why I will support him musically! Yes we must support our leaders but that is not what he is saying.. He is focusing on our leaders not supporting us! Freely HE gave, Freely we should serve! I really hate to see how Church has become, especially during offering time! Its not all about the money! God WILL supply ALL your needs but some of us have NEEDS God is NO part of! Really something to meditate on!

  6. October 6, 2010 8:17 pm

    Hmmm.. I love Donnie McClurkin however, I think he fail to realize that the word of God said the poor will be with us always so because we live poor as a minister does not make us better than any other preacher that choose to live prosperous as the word says. Each Minister is chosen to Pastor a certain flock of people. However, it is not right to bad mouth good honest preachers that are educated business men living by the word of God prosperous whether they were preachers or not. If you work the word as God said the word will work for you and you will not be broke and poor. You have to use comman sense along with the word and business sense to be successful whether you are a Minister or not. God will take care of you!
    Yes, there are some crooks, pimps and pedifilers out there claiming to be preachers but there again the word says many are called but few are chosen. Frankly my question is what bible are they reading if any? Love one another, do not speak against Ministers living according to the word in every area of their lives. I would not have it any other way. For my Pastor to be a living prosperous example of the way God said we should live here on earth, wow!

    • Mike Jones permalink
      October 24, 2010 2:52 am

      Yikes. Another sycophant preaching prosperity while Mrs. Jones goes without food and has to eat cat food, while Big Pimpin’ drives a Bentley? Ah….NO!

      • Stacy Best permalink
        October 25, 2010 10:47 pm

        Yes, the Bible does say that the poor will be with us, but if you had read the scripture before and after Jesus’s quote concerning the poor, you would have understood that He was referring to a poor woman who allowed her tears to fall on His feet and then wipped them with her hair, and proceeded to rub ointment on his feet. She did this because she knew that His death was drawing near. Jesus’s remark to the desciples was that, “the poor will always be with you, but you will not always have Me” because they could not understand why she was doing what she did.

        So it is obvious that this act had nothing to do with why preachers continue to preach prosperity while their congregation is going hungry.

        Jesus himself lived a very humble life because he wanted that to be an example, not the get rich preaching. Don’t you think the Lord could have created wealth for himself in an instant for himself? If He had, His whole purpose would have been in vain.

  7. October 6, 2010 11:31 pm

    I like what Pastor McClurkin had to say. He is a pastoral model. Many preachers pick to wrong preacher to model.
    Many pastors have the same mentality when it comes to God’s money that rappers, pimps and drug pushers have. And their silly parishioners applaud them for their extremes. It’s crazy. I thank God for his speaking out.
    It makes me confident in stand I’ve taken as a pastor. Bear my own burdens not asking for anything and helping everyone that I am able to help.

  8. dorothy permalink
    October 7, 2010 3:43 am

    I love the explanation of being a humble true witness of God. We need pastors like
    pastor McClurkin in the community. There is too much worldly things in the church;; too much talking the word and not living it.

  9. Jada permalink
    October 7, 2010 11:30 am

    I dont think its bad for Pastors to live how they want and buy lavish items as long as its not at the expense of the congregation. I do feel that if your members are not living as lavish as you then you do have a responsibility to teach and not just preach about prosperity. I applaud McClurkin for being obedient and seeking ways to bring his congregation up through business ownership and safe affordable housing. This is what God wants for his Kingdom, others helping each other! If more Pastors had his mindset then the Church would be driving force in the community and people would see the goodness of the Lord when they would normally glorify street life.

    • Mike Jones permalink
      October 24, 2010 2:53 am

      “As long as it’s not at the expense of the congregation?” Where’s the money coming from then? Manna stopped flowing from Heaven about 5,000 years ago. We use MONEY now, and the money comes from the PEOPLE!

      • Stacy Best permalink
        October 25, 2010 10:53 pm

        Dude, really…

  10. October 7, 2010 4:04 pm

    This is great to hear again! Tupac spoke on this very issue years ago, WATCH THIS VIDEO http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ShilXQb-Zc&feature=related I personally feel that it is a shame that the church is pimped and yes, there are people right in the congregation giving their last dollar trying to sew a seed praying just to have gas enough to make it back home from church. People come to the church who are hard working people who run into bad times and may just need help to pay the mortgage for one month until the check can arrive and they are placed on a 6 month waiting list for the help they need today. Yes, the system is wrong but only the correct leadership will make it right. I went to a church in Texas and I had to pay to park at the church. Ironically, they make more off the church parking then they collect in the offering plate. Maybe I’m in the wrong business and yes, church is big business. I attended a marketing meeting at a church in Tampa, Florida and they have an attrition strategy. For every 3 people who leave the church weekly they must have 5 people join in order to keep the lights on and continue to growth. Is it really about saving souls or collecting dollars?
    You decide for yourself! God is good! My faith is in Jesus and not man!

  11. Philanda Westbrook permalink
    October 8, 2010 1:46 am

    What God is doing to the world is a question of our existence. We are losing site of God in so many areas of the Church that our practices of sin is being revealed. God constantly reminds us that He almighty, and at any time can position us back into submition (humility). I’m not surprised about the revealings, and allegations of today’s Church leaders; from the most popular names known to man down to the very least populated. We all have sinned and fallen short to the glory of God; however, I am concerned about the innocence of those who truly follow and strive to become ernest stewards of God. The integrity of the Church has now become into question. My belief is; when God reveals sin in our life whether public, or private it is our choice to either repent (public or private) or allow Satan to trick us by masking the sin. Eventually, in due time when God reveals all; it’s too late, because the humiliation has further set in.

  12. October 12, 2010 1:20 pm

    I love the stance by Donnie. It mimics what the Apostle Paul did in the scriptures. He stated he had the right to be a financial burden to the church but decided against it so no one could question his motives. (my paraphrase) As a pastor I know I have the right to live solely off the gospel I preach but I also know the community I serve. I am able to support my family and serve the church community I pastor. I thank God for the grace to do both and Donnie for bringing attention to this in the African-American church. Great article!

  13. Melissa Horton permalink
    October 13, 2010 5:07 pm

    I agree. I did see someone say something about working the word and it will work for you. What I have seen and have been a victim of, is the word definately being worked by our so called prosperity preachers. For example, I have seen not once, but, twice, the request sent out to people by any means, within the last month, to send out money for “Day of Atonement offering”. I could not believe what I was seeing/hearing. U tell me, isn’t this the kind of thing that Pastor Donnie is referring to.

  14. Stacy Best permalink
    October 21, 2010 6:16 pm

    I totally agree with Pastor Donnie McClurkin’s comments regarding prosperity pastors and doctrine, as well as, putting these teachers on pedestals as though their wealth has something to do with our salvation. We have to hold these teachers more accountable in their actions and what they are teaching. In order to do so we must also take responsibility for our own perception of whom a good Sheppard is suppose to be.

    Were is it written that as sheep’s of a congregation, we’re not suppose to challenge our leaders according to the Word of God? We too are responsible for our own salvation, not our Pastors. As Pastor McClurkin said, they are a vessel used by God to deliver His Word to people.

    So wake up people! No matter how rich your church leaders are, it has no impact on your own salvation, nor does it enhance the conditions of your quality of life. Think about it, if a church body can come together and make a church leader rich, why can’t that same motivation be used to make your own family rich. Think about it…

    Pastor Donnie McClurkin, thank you for speaking out. I am a Bible Study Christian/Hebrew Israelite, but I thank you just the same.

  15. October 24, 2010 7:16 am

    You made some good points there. I did a search on the topic and found most people will agree with
    your blog.

  16. Cynthia permalink
    November 13, 2012 5:20 pm

    Pastor McClurkin is Genuine he is very real about what he says and does, He truly stands on the Word of God an he does give back to the community and the world Mentally, Physically & finacially. He is one Pastor that I can Honestly say that is doing Gods Work. We go along way back.

  17. BalancedThinkingisRequired permalink
    November 26, 2012 12:59 pm

    I agree that the Church must continue to build on the right foundation. The foundation is Jesus Christ, not riches. However I think we are doing our communities a great disservice if we do not raise our standards and just accept poverty as “just the way things are” and all we need to do is pray about it. As powerful as prayer is, we have to put some effort behind it. We have those among us who constantly have their hands out, seeking to receive and receive and receive. Well, the Church is there the help the needy. But the best thing you can do for the needy is to teach them how to, despite their circumstances, learn to leave the throngs of the needy and move up to the mountains of prosperity. We need to teach the people how to leave the rolls of the needy and put themselves into a position to seed into the Kingdom and the lives of others. We need to move up and forward and not wax sentimentally about the way that things were. The Church needs to grow and change and one of the ways it needs to change is that it needs to be “front and center” in not only “giving people fish” but also how to “catch more fish”. We have no need for “so-called” pastors who fleece the people to enrich themselves. But the Church has a responsibility, at a time such as this, to help the people raise the bar and build economic infrastructures.

    It is so easy to be mentally lazy and simply accept what we are mentally comfortable with. We need to be careful not to “throw the baby out with the bathwater” hear. There is nothing wrong with much of the “Prosperity Message” as long as we build our lives around Christ as the center. Sure, Jesus live an ostentatious lifestyle. But in God’s omniscience, I’m sure that he knew that there was a time and place coming in the future where it would take incredible amounts of money for Kingdom work to get done. That time is now.

  18. BalancedThinkingisRequired permalink
    November 26, 2012 1:10 pm

    I agree that the Church must continue to build on the right foundation. The foundation is Jesus Christ, not riches. However I think we are doing our communities a great disservice if we do not raise our standards and just accept poverty as “just the way things are” and all we need to do is pray about it. As powerful as prayer is, we have to put some effort behind it. We have those among us who constantly have their hands out, seeking to receive and receive and receive. Well, the Church is there the help the needy. But the best thing you can do for the needy is to teach them how to, despite their circumstances, learn to leave the throngs of the needy and move up to the mountains of prosperity. We need to teach the people how to leave the rolls of the needy and put themselves into a position to seed into the Kingdom and the lives of others. We need to move up and forward and not wax sentimentally about the way that things were. The Church needs to grow and change and one of the ways it needs to change is that it needs to be “front and center” in not only “giving people fish” but also how to “catch more fish”. We have no need for “so-called” pastors who fleece the people to enrich themselves. But the Church has a responsibility, at a time such as this, to help the people raise the bar and build economic infrastructures.

    It is so easy to be mentally lazy and simply accept what we are mentally comfortable with. We need to be careful not to “throw the baby out with the bathwater” hear. There is nothing wrong with much of the “Prosperity Message” as long as we build our lives around Christ as the center. Sure, Jesus did not live an ostentatious lifestyle. But in God’s omniscience, I’m sure that he knew that there was a time and place coming in the future where it would take incredible amounts of money for Kingdom work to get done. That time is now.

  19. minister Samuel Campbell permalink
    February 7, 2013 2:13 pm

    I like what pastor Murclurkin said and i agree that pastors should make sure that the flock is being taken care for he takes care of Gods people God Will take care of him. Mathew 6:33 says it clearly..

  20. minister Samuel Campbell permalink
    February 7, 2013 2:19 pm

    Pastor murcluckin is right on it and i applaud him.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s