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The National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) launched a campaign last week to help churches more effectively serve their pastors. Recognizing that many people in Christian leadership “face significant financial challenges,” the “Bless Your Pastor” campaign aims to raise awareness about those needs and assist church members in meeting them.
“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,” says Brian Kluth, the spokesperson for Bless Your Pastor.
Lilly - Endowment - Inc - Philanthropic - Foundation
Lilly Endowment Inc., a private philanthropic foundation, has given a $1 million, 3-year grant to fund the campaign, which, according to the Bless Your Pastor website, “empowers congregations to creatively care for their pastors.” The movement is open to all churches and, while targeted at pastors, the website notes that churches might choose to bless church staff as well. The Bless Your Pastor movement is based on 1 Thessalonians 5:12 and Galatians 6:6 and offers a number of free resources, including a Bless Your Pastor toolkit, online courses about financial health, and “50 Creative Ways to Show God’s Love for Your Pastor and Staff.”
According to the Times Free Press, some of the ways the campaign encourages people to serve are through providing child care, car repairs, and free gift cards for meals.
Why This Campaign?
It’s easy for congregations to be unaware of the significant financial sacrifices many church leaders make. The Bless Your Pastor website says that pastors often have a 50- to 60-hour workweek. Half of pastors make less than $50,000 per year, and 60 percent of pastors receive no benefits (such as healthcare, retirement, etc.) from their churches....
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