Is PASTOR making MONEY off of MY FOLLOWS? Monetizing Discipleship?

Lately, it seems like everyone is an entrepreneur, everyone is an influencer, everyone is making money off of our online views, our online follows, and our online likes. Is it just me who feels this way?

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Literally every website feels like it is somehow monetized and the average person is just trying to stay afloat in this online frenzy. I started noticing this “website/app monetization” shortly after YouTube started posting advertisements (I mean since when did YouTube become T.V…well then again they have that too now lol). Then Instagram started those awful “Influencer” / “Sponsored” promotions and now the whole internet is pretty much monetized.

Nothing feels like genuine communication anymore. Average people are now acting as virtual/online demi-gods and mini-celebrities, and everyone seems like they are trying to get a piece of that “internet- money-making-pie.” Unfortunately, this seems to include pastors.

Recently, one of my favorite pastors sent an email to her followers announcing a new One-on-One mentorship program. I was excited about the email until I saw that their was an ONLINE APPLICATION FEE OF $100.00!

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I’ve been encouraged by this Woman of God for more than 6 years and she’s never sold her mentorship before. What’s even more surprising is that her mentorship is described synonymously with discipleship. The email said many things, but here are a few quotes about the mentorship program:

“[…] goal is to pour into a handful of women every 6 weeks and then THEY in turn go POUR into somebody else.”

“[…] If you need accountability with your prayer time, diet, working out and stepping out on faith to reach your goals – then this is for you. If you’ve had a rough past and you can’t get free from it – then this is for you [… ] I don’t take it lightly to pour into women. I know that one day, I will be judged on every word that I have spoken and I am very convicted by it[…].”

Pouring into women sounds like a part of the discipleship process, as does holding women accountable and speaking God’s Word into someone’s life.

What baffles me is that a believer would have the audacity to monetize such an personal process, like discipleship. I honestly feel a righteous anger. Why are we trying to turn God’s command to “Go and make disciples…” (Matthew 28:18-20) into a way to make money off of people?

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This feels like a slap in the face to so many men and women who have SACRIFICED their LIVES (FREE of charge for those they discipled) to “Go and make disciples of every nation…” as lay-people, vocational ministers, pastors, preachers, evangelists, missionaries, and ultimately as ALL Christ-Followers are called to do.

Yes, the “Levites” do need their tenth…but I do not believe Christ ever put a monetary price on His discipleship. He never charged the 12 disciples physical money, although they did WILLINGLY give up their life and livelihood to follow him. The key word is willingly. Charging an application fee for discipleship does not seem biblical. Discipleship is not an item to be sold or bought, it is a mandate.

I’m praying God will speak to the heart of this Christian Leader about this mentorship program. I pray God would lead and guide us ALL in how best to honor and glorify Him in these last days. One day we will indeed be, “judged on every word that we have spoken” and every action we have taken.

I pray we would act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with our God. I sure do miss the days when online communications were genuine.

What do you think about monetizing discipleship? Comment below.

Let Me Know What You Think :)

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