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Managing Your Church Blog, September, 2016
The Secret Struggle of Pastors and Finances
For many pastors, finances are a huge problem—but one they won’t tell you about.
The Secret Struggle of Pastors and Finances

At some point in his or her career, your pastor has most likely struggled with finances—but chances are you (and most of your fellow congregants) wouldn’t know it.

In a recent article from titled “9 Secrets Pastors Keep,” Cincinnati pastor Mandy Smith describes pastoral finances as one of the key issues on which pastors stay quiet. “[M]any pastors don’t realize how impossible their work is until they’re deep into it,” Smith states, with financial worries and weights making up a significant portion of that “impossible work”:

Several pastors commented on the practical realities of providing for a family on a ministry income. “Although we’re a very transparent community, there are still things I wish people knew,” Josh says. “Nobody knows the extreme financial burden my wife and I share. It’s hard on our marriage because we barely make ends meet.”

Financial issues also bring pressures at church: “We can’t dress too nicely or drive a car that’s too nice without feeling like members wonder how much we are paid,” David shares. “And I can’t tell the church that my wife works as much as she does to help us dig out of overwhelming debt.”

The pressures and burdens of finances clearly remain a concern for those in ministry—that’s why Church Law & Tax is committed to providing clarity and guidance on those topics that may not have been covered in seminary. In the September issue of Church Finance Today, “The Financial Health of Pastors” outlines recent research on pastors’ financial states and highlights the practical steps churches can take to help relieve their pastors’ fiscal loads.

In Depth

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