An organization is granting pastors around the country with a total of $1 million to bless pastors who might be in financial distress.
Last week the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) announced that they would be heading up a campaign to help Christian leaders who “face significant financial challenges,” by “blessing them” with financial help.
The “Bless Your Pastor” campaign not only will be providing for those in needs, but it also hopes to bring to light the financial pinch those in church leadership often live in.
“Having been a pastor myself, with three children and a wife who needed major medical treatments, I understand the financial struggles many pastors and their families face—and the tremendous difference it makes when a congregation shows their pastor they are there for them, all the way, sharing God’s love and blessings in practical ways,” Brian Kluth, the spokesperson for Bless Your Pastor said.
Kluth explained that often times there are low-cost things that church staff families can’t even afford, like hiring a babysitter for a few hours, and this grant will help with things like that.
“Bless Your Pastor is about people in the church sharing their time, talents and treasures to creatively bless their pastors and church staff members,” Kluth said. “Some examples can be babysitting, doing car repairs, offering low or no-cost medical and dental care, sharing a vacation home, and providing gift cards to the pastor and family.”
Lily Endowment Inc., a private foundation granted the National Association of Evangelicals with a $1 million, 3-year grant in order to fund “Bless Your Pastor.”
According to the Bless Your Pastor website, the campaign “empowers congregations to creatively care for their pastors.” Although this program targets pastors, it also encourages churches to bless their staff members as well.
The campaign draws its beliefs from 1 Thessalonians 5:12 and Galatians 6:6. 1 Thessalonians 5:12, and “instructs believers to show our deep appreciation for those who cherish us and diligently work as ministers among us,” the website details. While Galatians 6:6 “teaches believers to share all good things provided by God with their instructors.”
The website also offers free resources for anyone to use including things like a Bless Your Pastor toolkit, as well as multiple courses about financial health, and “50 Creative Ways to Show God’s Love for Your Pastor and Staff.”
According to the National Association of Evangelicals, “90 percent of pastors feel financial pressure, 50 percent make less than $50,000 per year while serving their churches 50-60, or more, hours per week.”
Furthermore, “nearly 60 percent of pastors do not receive retirement or healthcare benefits from their churches, and 3 out of 10 pastors have student loan debt averaging $36,000.”
There is clearly a need for financial assistance, and Bless Your Pastor is trying to bring awareness to that. Not only are they equipping churches with money, but they are also encouraging body members to take better care of their staff.
“By inspiring believers to bless their pastors and providing them with free resources, we can create an outpouring of generosity in our communities for those who faithfully lead and teach the Word of God,” their website reads.
You can follow along with the movement on their Facebook page here.