As someone who has studied many Christian denominations, Jehovah’s Witnesses have always intrigued me for their unorthodox financial policies since there is a lot of discussion surrounding the topic in the media.
Many news articles and reports have claimed the organization earns billions, but I endeavored to find out the truth for myself.
Speaking with Jehovah’s Witnesses and elders as part of my research was so enlightening that I thought it prudent to prepare this article for my weekly Christian newsletter.
Given my extensive hands-on approach to the topic, I am more than capable of handling it. So, how much do Jehovah’s Witnesses get paid?
Jehovah’s Witnesses go unpaid for their charitable works or evangelism missions. Regular members and pioneers do not earn salaries since the organization’s donations go to general maintenance. It also portions some of its funds towards stipends for leaders in the governing body and special pioneers.
In this article, I will look at the Jehovah’s Witness church’s finances. You will learn more about where it receives its funds and how it uses them, so make sure you stick around till the end.
What Are Jehovah’s Witnesses Salaries?
According to many followers of the Jehovah’s Witness faith, they do not receive salaries.
Since Jehovah’s Witness is a religious group registered as a charitable organization in several countries, such as Canada, most of its members are volunteers, and they do not get paid for the work they do.
Further, Witnesses are under no obligation to pay membership fees and tithe. All contributions they make to the organization are voluntary.
In light of that, however, some members, such as Special Pioneers and leaders, receive stipends to foot their daily expenses, but these payments do not fall in the income tax bracket.
How Much Do Jehovah’s Witnesses Elders Get Paid?
The Jehovah’s Witness denomination says that it has no salaried clergy.
In line with Acts 20:28, Witnesses believe they all become ordained when baptized, but some wise older men act as shepherds to the congregation: “Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood.”
These elders are deemed mature enough to take care of Church members, teach God’s word, and provide counsel.
Despite all the work they do, Jehovah’s Witness elders are unpaid for their services. They are, however, allowed to get regular jobs and create families since their work is not necessarily full-time.
Do The Governing Body Of Jehovah’s Witness Get Paid?
According to Jehovah’s Witness members, their governing body is unpaid, but leaders receive a stipend.
These leaders oversee the use and distribution of donated money and assets to public ministries, but they do not receive direct salaries for their work.
Aside from handling financial matters, they organize evangelism work, supervise legal issues, regulate Bible translation and production, and teach and prepare educational material across 240 countries with Jehovah’s Witness presence.
Many believe it is appropriate for members of the Jehovah’s Witness governing body to receive an allowance and benefits to facilitate travel, healthcare expenses, and other general upkeep expenses.
How Do Jehovah’s Witnesses Make Money?
Jehovah’s Witnesses make money from donations, which they receive physically and electronically. For instance, on the official JW.org website, there is a link at the bottom of the page that allows Witnesses and well-wishers to make contributions.
Interestingly enough, almost all the donations made to the Church are anonymous and voluntary.
Compulsory contributions and tithes from members are seen as sources of corruption and division, so all the methods used to raise funds are a matter of personal choice.
The money contributed to Jehovah’s Witness is used to finance conventions and maintenance of the Kingdom Halls.
How Is The Work Of Jehovah’s Witnesses Financed?
The Jehovah’s Witness denomination mainly finances its work with donations, inheritances, wills, non-monetary contributions, investments, trusts, and other goodwill services.
It is not customary for members to tithe or give regular contributions from their income as they believe in the teaching in 2 Corinthians 9:7, which says that you should give what you can from your heart with no compulsion: “Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”
Jehovah’s Witnesses also do not make money from fundraisers, weddings, baptisms, and sales.
Instead, the Church relies on contribution boxes in their Kingdom Halls and random donations, which can be in physical or digital cash.
For accountability for the money received and spent, the denomination carries out regular financial audits. Also, each member can access the records (2 Corinthians 8:20).
Can Jehovah’s Witnesses Have Other Professions?
Yes, they can, but traditionally, it is believed that Jehovah’s Witnesses aim to get lower-paying jobs as opposed to more prestigious professions.
Evangelism and missionary work are central to Jehovah’s Witnesses’ beliefs, so to have more time to devote to their church-oriented work, many Witnesses believe they should go for less demanding jobs.
Witnesses cannot, however, serve in the military, which is a belief that has drawn a lot of persecution to the community.
They can participate in other civilian work, but the military is a no-go zone since the religion is opposed to war and combat.
Jehovah’s Witnesses use Matthew 26:52 to forbid other followers from engaging in violence: “‘Put your sword back in its place’, Jesus said to him, ‘for all who draw the sword will die by the sword.'”
In this Scripture, Christ told Paul that those who take the sword shall die by it.
The Jehovah’s Witness community also looks at John 17:16, which says believers should be neutral in political matters: “They are not of the world, even as I am not of it.”
Are Jehovah’s Witnesses Paid To Go Door To Door?
With Jehovah’s Witness being a staunch religious group, all its members carry out evangelism work voluntarily.
Missionary activities are central to the Church, and all Witnesses who are physically capable of evangelizing from door to door do it free of charge.
In fact, some dedicated congregation members, known as Pioneers, dedicate over 70 hours a month to door-to-do witnessing, while Special Pioneers spend over 130 hours a month.
Although unsalaried, they receive a stipend to cover their basic living expenses and needs.
As a Christian, I have always been passionate about sharing God’s word with young people. This inspired me to pursue a Certificate in Christian Education, an Undergraduate degree in Religious Studies, and a Graduate degree in Theology. My knowledge in school and experience from dealing with the youth made me an expert at discussing Christian-related topics. I feel privileged working as the Coordinator of the Christian Youth Ministry at Christian Faith Guide. You can read more about me on the about us page.