National Association of Evangelicals launches 2021 ‘bless your pastor’ initiative in midst of church leader burnout

"The NAE’s national research has shown that pastors face very real personal and financial challenges" - RNS

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Ed Vasicek's picture

I use the term "unionize" in a loose sense.  Pastors who are not part of a "tight" denomination are very often abused and not treated fairly. I am not one of them.  I have no stake in this, other than my concern for my peers. None of the problems cited in the bullet points of this article are true of me (though decades ago they were).

Non-denom, Baptist, and other affiliations are good to recognize the autonomy of the local church. The problem is that the local church is often out to get too much bang for the buck when it comes to taking care of pastors. There always seems to be money for that building project, but not enough to give the pastor a decent wage.  As a matter of fact, churches that are cheap with their pastor during lean years often continue to be cheap with their pastors when the church finances improve.

Churches and pastors need to form some sort of international guild so that pastors and church members are treated fairly, an index of minimal expectations from the pastor (e.g., how often they visit those in the hospital, etc.) as well as minimal benefits for the pastor.

One pastor friend makes a great suggestion: a pastor's wage and benefits should be at least those of a public school teacher with similar education and years served.  A teacher's wage is considered modest, although teachers do have a long summer break.  So that would be a perfect minimum starting point.

The truth is some board members should not really be board members; they are not in touch with reality, but love to control and "keep the pastor humble."  People who are extreme and nasty can easily find their way onto church boards, which is the bane of the non-denom/Baptist/loose denom church.  This is much less of a problem in a church with a lot of professionals who understand how organizations operate.  They have a better feel for fairness.




"The Midrash Detective"

Joeb's picture

The church I was a member of in NJ Jim is familiar with.  While I was there I saw several verbal grievances made toward the Pastor we had there.  They were all BALONEY.  That made me so mad.  Totally stupid.  People left the church because they were mad at the Pastor.  At that time the President of the Friends is ISREAL was a member of our church who Jim probably remembers that lived in Haddon Heights and later left.  I can name one guy who left Jim does know over a disagreement with the Pastor then and if my memory serves me right it was not earth shattering.    

Like I said I just didn't get it.  Why make a mountain out of a mole hill.  The Pastor has enough things to deal with much less idiots making trouble for him.  I back a Pastor all the way unless he does something really bad and my feelings were you never never to say a bad thing about the guy unless it really is a major issue.  Anything should be done in private with him otherwise keep your mouth shut. Your suppose to uplift the guy. 

Now the Pastor at the above time came from Lancaster County PA and he was no NJ Fan. Let's say he did from time to time take pot shots from the pulpit at NJ.  Well I did score one back at him in private after the a sermon. He described this beautiful scene of a creek flowing in Lancaster County PA with a backdrop of a Cornfield with the Sun rising.  Bliss full and God's creation.  

My counter don't put your hand in the creek in  Lancaster County PA Creeks because they we're the most polluted in the Nation.  At that time those Godly Amish we're not managing their Cow Manure well.  Plus from the colonial days when they damed everything in site for water power the streams had heavy metals in the streams to boot.  I told the Pastor the cleanest water in the Country is in the NJ Pine Barrens because it comes from an underground Aquifier considered the purest source of water in the World.  Use a NJ Pine Barrens stream if you want to relate God's beautiful creation.  

Ed that teacher's salary may be applicable in some areas but not below the Mason Dixon Line.  Teachers in some areas make poverty wages. Especially ones where the state is not home rule.  The way you tell is who they strike against.  In PA NJ NY and Conn they strike against the School district.  In West VA they strike against the State because the state controls all the financing.  I believe it's that way in LA OK AZ and a lot of other states.  That's why in some states the property taxes are dirt cheap   The Public Schools are not any good academically. Hence Christian and Catholic Schools down South have no problem getting tuition paying students as a whole. So a Pastor who invested big money to get an M Div at a totally certified school like BJU needs a descent Salary at a minimum of 60 Gs a year plus on the low end as a start.  No where is dirt cheap anymore especially if you have to buy a house.  A thirty year old 3 Br 2 Bath Mobile Home we just repainted during a church painting party and flushed the chickens out of doesn't cut it.