Thom S. Rainer on Six Lessons from Pastors Considering Retirement

Rarely a week goes by that I don’t hear from Boomer pastors who just retired, are considering retirement, or wish they could retire.

I am listening carefully. And I am learning a lot as I listen. Most of it is not very encouraging.

  1. Most pastors are underpaid. I have to monitor my sanctification when I hear snarky comments like, “Pastors are in it for the money” or “Pastors make too much money.” Sure, there are ungodly exceptions. But they are indeed exceptions and they are rare. As I listen to Boomer pastors and understand their compensation through the years, my heart breaks. Many of these servants, for the hours they work, have barely been paid living wages.
  2. Too many pastors refuse raises. Their motives are honorable. They want the money to go to ministry. They want their staff better paid. They want the church to pay off its debt. They don’t want to hurt the church. But now these Boomer pastors realize they don’t have sufficient funds for retirement. They fear they will be a burden to their families. Pastors: Stop saying “no” to raises. You are hurting your family now and in the future.
  3. Few pastors give sufficient thought to retirement. They commonly say, “God will take care of me.” Others say, “I don’t ever plan on retiring.” The problem is many Boomer pastors are “retired” involuntarily by their churches. Some are not physically able to remain as a pastor. Others are close to emotional burnout. Again, these pastors become dependent on others in retirement.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Thom S. Rainer