Is it possible to live financially confident and be in the ministry?
When it comes to financial planning, I have learned that there is a gap between a pastor’s claim that they are financially confident and the reality of what the numbers suggest. In my experience, they just don’t match up. In fact, according to AG Financial, as much as 71% of pastors say they are comfortable with their financial security. This sounds encouraging, but the data does not appear to support this. I would suggest that this response is more a statement of their faith rather than an honest admittance of their reality.
- 29% of pastors have $0 money in savings
- 84% felt they did not have the needed funds for emergencies or large purchases
- Half of pastors have salary/housing packages under $50,000
- 59% have no family health insurance
- 21% have $0 saved towards retirement and 49% have less than $50,000
These numbers contribute to a staggering 36% of pastors who have at one time considered leaving the ministry due to financial pressure and 76% of pastors who know someone who has. These tragic statistics are all avoidable with a few tools and processes in place.
It is time that leadership within churches recognize this as a problem and address it head on. I’m not suggesting that the answer here is to simply pay everyone more money. (The American public school system is a great example where more money per student does not equal better education.) I am suggesting that leadership become intentional about understanding financial planning and then helping pastors incorporate the principles of cash flow, wealth building, and legacy creation into their financial systems and goals.
The good news (no pun intended) is, yes, a minister can live financially confident, but it is not going to happen by default or without intention. There is a teachable process to manage cash flow, prioritize expenses and live confidently.
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