Pastors and money—it’s not a subject you hear a lot about. But the July/August 2016 Christianity Today noted a survey from the National Association of Evangelicals on Pastors and their money. Here are some of the interesting findings:
- 29% had no money in personal savings
- 33% had less than $10,000 in retirement
- 92% worry about their retirement savings
- 84% worry about their emergency funds
- 83% worry about making major purchases
- 54% worry about being able to send their children to college
On a more positive front, 61% were mostly satisfied with their compensation with 45% feeling that their financial position was better than their peers. Notwithstanding these positive notes, 36% of pastors considered leaving the ministry altogether for financial reasons.
This survey raises some troubling questions. Consider:
- Do we believe that it’s okay for our pastors to live on lower salaries simply because they are in ministry?
- Do we believe that it would be proper for a pastor to earn the same or similar salary as a business person running an organization with the appropriate people and business challenges?
- What is the impact upon congregations when a pastor worries about money, retirement, college etc?
- Should anything be changed?
I’ll be interested to hear your comments.