Having heard this week about the passing of a friend I had the privilege of pastoring many years ago, I’m remembering my early years as a pastor. At this stage of my career, I’m especially grateful for those who helped me in those days with my financial responsibilities. Based on my own experiences, here are some ways to help a young pastor:
- Learn issues related to pastoral compensation. These issues can get complicated, and church leaders will serve their pastor better if they have some understanding of them. To start, it’s good to know (a) the difference between the pastor’s salary and his benefits and overall package, and (b) the complexities of housing allowance and Social Security. As I have in the past, I recommend reading Art Rainer’s concise book, The Minister’s Salary.
- Get him guidance in tax laws for pastors. Many of us regrettably learned the hard way that pastors do indeed pay taxes. I finally got the guidance I needed, but only after paying significant back taxes and penalties as a 21-year-old preacher.
- Help him get started in retirement contributions. The sooner he starts saving and investing for the future, the more likely it is that he’ll have funds for retirement. He’s probably not yet thinking about that reality, however—so help him.
- Don’t be afraid to ask him if the financial package is sufficient. In fact, I’d encourage you to ask that question annually. Your church may not always have available funds to make up any difference, but it’s still right to ask the question. Many young pastors won’t volunteer that information.
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Source: Church Leaders