The Financial Struggles of Real Pastors

Church Law & Tax | 7/17/2019 | Staff
jster97 (Posted by) Level 3
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A TV preacher asked his flock for $54 million last year so he could buy a new private jet. One of America’s most popular pastors owns a $10.5 million mansion and drives a top-model Ferrari. And not long ago, @PreachersNSneakers was launched on Instagram to name and shame pastors who wear designer shoes that cost thousands of dollars.

It’s no wonder, then, that many Americans, and even church-going Christians, have the wrong view of America’s pastors and their money. The real story of America’s legion of humble pastors is unglamorous and largely untold. Ninety percent of pastors feel financial pressure. Hundreds of thousands of pastors make less than $50,000 per year while serving their churches 50-plus hours per week, and many have side jobs to make ends meet.

Study - National - Association - Evangelicals - NAE

A 2015 study conducted by the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) found that nearly 60 percent of pastors do not receive health insurance and retirement from their churches, while many of these faithful ministers owe thousands of dollars in college or seminary loans, or carry large debt from essential medical care. Their financial reality is as far removed from the TV preachers as you could get.

In fact, the vast majority of America’s pastors (four out of every five) in the NAE study speak to congregations of fewer than 200. And 55 percent have fewer than 100 in attendance. Their churches might have annual budgets that are lower than some middle-class household incomes—budgets that are supposed to pay all the church bills and the pastor’s salary.

US - Pastor - Today - God - Pastor

I identify with the average US pastor today. I felt God calling me to become a pastor in my mid-40s. I left my career and took a $70,000 pay cut to accept a senior pastor position. I don’t say this because I want a pat on the back, but simply...
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