Dad, if being persecuted is what the "church" needs and what "I" need to live a right life and become vibrant and alive for Christ....You better believe that's what I want to happen. Bring it on, and watch the church become energized and explode.
As for getting paid for what you do as a form of respect and thankfulness for a job well done? Sounds good. How long does it take to research and prepare a sermon? Two hours? Four? Six? How long does it take to preach it? Thirty minutes? Forty Five? Sixty? The original job of the New Testament pastor was to teach/preach. Not to do all the stuff they do in 2007. [We've already gone over this.] So I'll pay you for that time. And yes Dad, if God called me to help people with their financial problems, I would do it without a paycheck. But working at a bank is so much more than that. So I would do all that other stuff and get paid for it b/c it's my job, and do the financial counseling as an aside for God's glory. I'm not ripping on the pastors here for the extra work they do, I'm just saying those things are someone else's responsibilities. And just b/c pastors get stuck with it doesn't then qualify them for a paycheck.
Again Dad, as for the pastor/elder thing, how about you stay on topic so we can argue the same thing without jumping around and confusing everyone? Yes, the pastor was one of the leaders. Yes, some of those elders he appointed were probably pastors. But Paul didn't come back to set up "only" one pastor as you originally stated. He came back to set up the much needed leadership of the early churches. All aspects, all positions. Show me where it stated the pastor was the number one guy in each group as you stated and I'll reconsider my point.
I love the fact that Andrew brought up how the church is not drawing in the non-believers anymore. This whole new look on how I am viewing modern spirituality is right along that line. We need to be an outward-moving people. We need to reach out to the non-believer where they are. Not to reach out and bring them into our building so we can save them there. We have to start a mentality [like Christ and the apostles] that we meet people where they are, show them the truth, and save them where they are. Then teach them how to do the same thing in their world and sphere of influence. Not in ours. I am running out of time to go further in this topic, but hopefully this'll spark more convo.