Being a pastor is challenging at any time but especially so during the current pandemic. Nine of 10 pastors in the United States are under financial pressure, and six of 10 churches face giving declines, according to the National Association of Evangelicals. The organization is kicking off its second annual Bless Your Pastor campaign.
Last year, thousands of protestant and Catholic churches received free grant-funded materials to help them participate in the first national campaign. The goal this year is to create an even bigger wave of sharing and caring for pastors, church staff and their families, according to campaign spokesperson Brian Kluth. Funded by a multimillion-dollar grant from a well-known endowment, Bless Your Pastor aims to ignite generosity and equip congregations to show and share God’s love for their pastors in creative and practical ways.
Participating churches will share a list of “50 Creative Ways to Bless Your Pastor” with their congregation, take up an appreciation offering for their pastor and receive a free $250 Amazon gift card from the NAE for their senior pastor.
“Often under great stress, our pastors and churches have quickly changed course this year, learning how to live-stream services and develop creative opportunities to minister virtually,” Kluth said. “Pastors and church staff have been working tirelessly to bless others during this difficult time. Now it’s time to bless them.
”“Even before this crisis, the majority of pastors and their families were walking a financial tightrope — teetering on the edge of serious debt and wondering how they could pay essential bills.”
According to NAE’s research, half of America’s pastors earn less than $50,000 per year and work between 50 and 70 hours per week, with 90 percent admitting they feel financial stress.
The “50 Creative Ways to Bless Your Pastor” list inspires people to bless their pastor and church staff with their time, talents and treasures. Examples include doing car repairs, sharing a vacation home, giving gift card, or even providing free professional services, such as dental care.
–Alan Goforth | Metro Voice