Pastors serve as a financial leader, both within the church and personally. Rev. Brandon Vetter, Bismarck Legacy UMC, Rev. Jenny Hallenbeck Orr, Bismarck McCabe UMC, and Rev. Randy Cross, Northeast District superintendent, discuss with Rev. Rebecca Trefz, director of ministries, the role of pastoral leadership when it comes to finances. The panel shares insights to help people understand the delicate position of pastor and money.
John Wesley’s model of “earn all you can, save all you can, give all you can” serves as a guide when it comes to financial matters. Pastors often face an exorbitant amount of debt when they leave seminary. Debt is an overwhelming burden, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Getting a system in place to manage debt is excellent for the pastoral leader’s personal life and helps in leading a congregational financially.
Tweet this: “Tomorrow matters in our giving and our financial practices.” —Pastor Jenny Hallenbeck Orr
Tithing is a foundation to Christian living. As pastors, it is essential to model and teach generous giving by being open and transparent with finances and goals of tithing. Giving ten percent of one’s budget can be nearly impossible for many at first, but it is critical to get in the habit of giving a consistent amount regularly, even it if it is only five dollars a week.
Tweet this: “Tithing should not be seen as a burden, but as the opportunity of giving all of our different talents and opportunities, from prayers to service to presence and witness.” —Rev. Randy Cross
Pastors serve as the chief fundraiser in their church as they seek to generate missional resources. Vetter, Hallenbeck Orr, and Cross have all found that one of the easiest ways to get people on board for giving is to lead by example.
Tweet this: “We need to lead, and they will follow where we set the bar. If we set it low with no expectations of tithing or giving, they will hit it. If we set it high, they will hit it there as well.” —Pastor Brandon Vetter
Giving to the church is not just about economics, but it is a spiritual discipline that honors God. Every gift given is a way of presenting one’s very self as an offering to God and His ministry.
Tweet this: “The more you give, the more we can do. We are not in savings and loans. We are in mission. Everything that is given we give away. With everything that is given we become the hands and the voice of Christ.” —Rev. Randy Cross
It is the pastor's job to provide leadership for financial matters in their congregation. It is not the pastor's role to handle the money. Pastors need to be intimately involved with where the money is coming from and where it is going but should be hands-off when it comes to collecting, counting, or depositing money.