What is your pastor driving?

November 7, 2011 — 17 Comments

I’ve never been a car junkie. Don’t get me wrong, I completely appreciate a beautiful automobile that can accelerate like an F-16.  I have always been amused by the reasons someone buys their car. Ask a financial expert and they will tell you that what you drive tells a lot about how you view your personal finances.

I often wonder how much a pastor thinks about what he drives.  If I were a pastor, I would probably be incredibly insecure about how people viewed my ride.  What does it say about their heart?  When a pastor asks people to give to the church, do they question where the money “really” is going?  If they preach about giving to the poor, are they doing the same?  If their church has exceeded 2000 attendance, can they get that suped-up sports car?  Or is their car too sissy?  Too bold?  Even worse, are they driving their wife’s Mary Kay pink Cadillac?  If you are a pastor reading this, I can only imagine how many things you are judged upon.

Not long ago I saw a pastor driving around in this amazing 330 BMW.  I’m not even sure what my pastor drives to be honest.  I’d like to think that he drives something modest but should I even care?  Whether you are pastor or not, the class-warfarist in me thinks that when faced with the choice in traffic whether to let a Ford Fusion or a Mercedes into my lane, sorry Heir Mercedes, you are going to have to wait.

For me I ask if I should purposefully drive a Yugo, a beat up old sedan, or a pickup truck?  A pickup truck might annoy my more liberal friends saying I was wasting gas and not using it to haul stuff on a regular basis. If I had an SUV, well…how American.  You suburban gas guzzling yuppie pastor.  So here I am…my wife and I have a minivan, which we love and loathe.  I don’t need to explain why.  If you have kids, you get it.

I read a few years ago about Kurt Warner after he received his big contract from the St. Louis Rams, he didn’t really upgrade his car, he just made sure he had a safe SUV since he had a bunch of kids.  I’m pretty practical like that but then again I bought a lottery ticket the other day and I couldn’t help but think what car I would purchase if I actually won.  The act of buying a lottery ticket says a lot about my heart I suppose.

I drive a 2008 Honda Accord, which I bought for its practicality and reliability.  My grandfather Papa Jack worked for General Motors for forty years and I recently.  I felt like a complete family letdown for buying a Japanese car but the truth is and we all know that our American manufacturers haven’t necessarily had their act together the past few years.  I’m starting to see a turnaround from them so when I need another car, I’ll definitely consider “Made in the USA.”  Recently my grandmother said that Papa Jack said he secretly always wanted to have a Volkswagen. That made me smile.

I work in publishing with that comes a lot of  interaction with pastors.  Many of these pastors are some amazing people.  Some of them do sacrificial things like not taking a church salary and only utilizing their book royalties.  I’ve seen every type of car driven by them but have never been bold enough to ask.  So if you are clergy, beware, I’ll be asking you what you drive this week.

So, what is your pastor driving?  Ever asked him (or her) why?  

What about you?  What do you drive and why?

17 responses to What is your pastor driving?


    I drive a 2005 Toyota Highlander. But, we were recently given a 2010 Sequoia by family. I dread what people think. If I won the lottery I think I would drive what you drive (I miss many things about driving a sedan). Or maybe I would get a truck 🙂


      Brother, I dig it. You bring up the “How do you judge the pastor who is ‘given’ a car…a nice one too!?!” Too much to consider my friend. What about the pastor who drives a scooter?


    Zac Hood had a great follow up on facebook:

    I thought of an interesting follow up to your blog- something about what it says about your church or your pastor or America if you don’t know what kind of car your pastor drives. Do you see him outside the church? Do you see him as a regular guy? I remember the first time I watched Scotty (Smith) drive and it made me laugh. It was like seeing an elementary school teacher outside of school and not realizing they had a life outside of being a teacher.


    Support the State of Tennessee and Chattanooga and look at the 2012 VW Passat.


    We’ve found our Toyota Rav-4, bought second-hand, a modest compromise. 🙂

    conflictedcongregant December 23, 2011 at 4:49 pm

    I found out this week that my pastor got a new Chevy Camaro. Not sure if it’s new or used, if he bought it or it was given to him… but I admit I have been conflicted the past few days. We give $ to the church, but my wife and I both drive 10 year old cars and we can’t afford to buy a new Camaro. We regularly hear sermons about not valuing things “of this world” and then he drives around in a sports car. On the other hand, why does it make a difference whether it’s a Camaro or a Camry?


      I think you aren’t far off. We sure don’t want our pastors poor as they need a reasonable amount of resources to be healthy as a person and family to serve the church. But we all must check our hearts first, pray, and address an issue like this first with an initial level of church leadership like an elder or deacon. They are in that role to be accountable to their pastor. That includes advising them on “perception”, which includes what they drive.


    Hey bro. Your car was made in America, in Marysville, OH. Honda has been manufacturing there since 1992. Don’t feel bad. GM’s number one selling product, the Silverado, is only 60% american content.


    By looking at these dates I realize it’s a few years out but I found this article because I was asking the same question about myself. As a pastor, I have a camaro and will soon be upgrading to a corvette. They are hobbies for me. I am also a Texas Highway Patrolman and just as a part of my regular duty, driving fast is something that I have to do. I certainly don’t intentionally violate the law off duty, but do enjoy the ‘raw power’ of a V-8 engine. It’s hard to find these motors in a Hyundai Elantra.
    I very rarely drive my car to church. Like never. I have an old 4 wheel drive truck that I normally drive. Just curious because if a pastor can afford hobbies like this, why would he be judged? I can’t find anywhere in God’s word that prohibits pastors, even any Christians from enjoying hobbies, as long as: 1. It doesn’t violate His commandments. 2. It doesn’t cause others to stumble. 3. Create an undue hardship on family or ministry.
    Am I missing something?

      Buggy macintosh January 30, 2017 at 4:28 pm

      I came across this article because my Pastor drives a BMW and his wife drives a range rover, they live in a 5 bedroom, 6 bath house. He’s a young Pastor they have one child. It doesn’t seem right to me. Owning those material goods are over the top. I drive a 2011 Mazda pickup. I just question where our tithes are going. They also ask for other offerings for this and that. It’s bothering me.


        Buggy, oh Church leadership can be tough. I think it is always wise to talk to the pastor and the church staff about it. We certainly do not want our ministry leaders to be poor but there certainly is a line when we know that they could be living a life of a pharisee. But, before I would challenge any ministry leader, I would pray and look at the mirror first. With a clear conscience and full heart, approach your leaders with love, care, and when necessary, rebuke if they seem out of line in this way.


    I was once looking for a good used second car as a backup. The car I already had was working fine. So there was no hurry. The money was set aside for 5-10 year old Buick or Oldsmobile sedan. Then one day person I never knew came and offered me an eight year old Cadillac sedan at a very good price. I turned him down respectfully. The next day he returned again and brought it with. The car was in excellent condition inside and out. His price also came down as well. Once again I respectfully said no. The next day he came back with a lower price. I thought, “Either this guy’s got a lemon, or else God’s got something more for me than i was asking.” I asked God how to know which it was without becoming a victim. He spoke to my mind and to ask if I could drive the car, check it out, and see what cost of ownership would be. Then offer a certain amount less than his lowest price. It was sort of like Gideon and the fleece. If the owner went for it, then God said He wanted me to have it. If not, then stay away from it. The owner accepted the price. The car became mine. It’s still in great shape, and needed only normal wear and tear items over the years. Maybe this will help someone.

    Kefelegn Sahle March 30, 2019 at 1:56 am

    Dear friends:
    Warm greetings in precious name of our Lord Jesus Christ Who, is coming very soon!
    As you understand, everything starts from visions and dreams. Visions and dreams are the mother of faith, when I look back at my eight year ministry experience, God first put visions and dreams into my heart then those visions and dreams developed faith in my soul. Through that faith, God accomplished great ministries. I have received visions and dream from the Holy Spirit to reach selective Muslim areas, to plant 12 churches within five years, by sending 24 inland missionaries. Currently I will prepare the ground by searching partners in this church planting Visions and dreams to fulfill the great commission of Jesus Christ.even you can donate car for ministries.
    We have planned to train inland missionaries, and will send 24 Muslim background missionaries and building training center. I am also in need of your financial support. The cost for our church planting goal is $78,200 per year. If God leads you to be part of the church planting ministry in this way make your check to the Risen Power Baptist church of Ethiopia and mail it in the enclosed self- addressed stamp envelope.
    Thank you for your time and consideration. It would be great to have you partner with me in working towards the completion of the great commission.
    Together in Christ service,

    Kefelegn Sahle
    Mailing Address
    P.O BOX 260
    Email: et0705icp@gmail.com
    Mobile phone: 0912189048


    Check your VIN number. If your 2008 Honda Accord is like mine, it was made in Ohio. If the first letter is a “J”, not a numeric digit, then it was made in Japan.

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