Author Topic: Pastor compensation  (Read 7870 times)

Keith Falk

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Re: Pastor compensation
« Reply #15 on: November 30, 2010, 09:05:30 PM »
Just to get back to the thread topic, during my husband's vicarage, the pastor's conference involved a Bahamas cruise (the district we were in at the time has a church there).  A member of the congregation not only refused to believe that the church would pay my way as the PW to this conference (and for a cruise no less--though I quip that it was during the hurricane season, so the rates were cheap and even less costly than a conference being held in a hotel), but once she learned that the congregation actually paid my husband a salary, she was up in arms.  Apparently she thought all pastors took a vow of poverty.  How she thought he was taking care of a family of 6, living in a house, driving a car, etc., is beyond me.

Dcs. Kim.

My dear sister, you obviously missed something critical in your theological education.

Lutheran layfolk made an agreement with the Good Lord centuries ago regarding the Lutheran clergy in parishes:

"Lord, you keep him humble; we'll keep him poor."
 ;D


Now, I think a part of the problem is that "back in the day," the cattlemen kept the parson's freezer full of beef, the chicken farmer saw he had plenty of chickens and eggs, the veggie farmers made sure there were veggies, a car dealer saw he got a great deal on a car every few years, etc. When these things stopped happening, the salary wasn't increased to replace the value of the gifts-in-kind. Saw this happen as a kid in central Indiana.

I know those sad stories are out there, and my heart breaks for those brothers and sisters in Christ whose churches for whatever reason couldn't or didn't take care of them.  My family has been blessed with very supportive and generous churches that have provided for our every need (and then some).  I fear it will sound boastful, but my church is actually desperately trying to find good use for a rather large sum of money from its projected year-end budget surplus.  I give all credit to God and the amazing pastor at my church who still in over four years in the ministry (he's a second-career guy . . . formerly in business) has yet to preach a stewardship sermon or have a stewardship campaign.  The topic is addressed, of course, when it comes up in the texts, and that has been sufficient.  He received the same theological education as me (well, his involved more coursework as well as classes in homiletics), so I guess they taught us both something critical afterall.  ;D  I do appreciate the levity of your comments mind you . . . it wasn't missed.

If they want to help a Lutheran congregation in Darke County (north of Dayton), we could use some help to meet our year end deficit   ;D
Rev. Keith Falk, STS

Timotheus Verinus

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Re: Pastor compensation
« Reply #16 on: November 30, 2010, 09:06:40 PM »
.
... My family has been blessed with very supportive and generous churches that have provided for our every need (and then some).  I fear it will sound boastful, but my church is actually desperately trying to find good use for a rather large sum of money from its projected year-end budget surplus.  I give all credit to God and the amazing pastor at my church who still in over four years in the ministry (he's a second-career guy . . . formerly in business) has yet to preach a stewardship sermon or have a stewardship campaign. The topic is addressed, of course, when it comes up in the texts, and that has been sufficient.  ...

This is a hard one, the "boasting thing," much like when a pastor teaches the Office. But in humility we must proclaim the things that God does and says, so I'm going to fully support what you have done. Part of my interim was the reality of financial distress, that needed to be righted. ... My thought was if God wanted to handle the finances He would. Our call was to something else. For the second interim in a row, I never do stewardship sermons, programs campaigns etc., and once again God is righting the ship, with extra cash in the bank at year end. They have a little ways to go before they can truly support financially a full time call, but in just a few months it is clear God has that in mind, and not a single stewardship sermon etc. Just people walking in the door, visitors coming to hear, and then becoming members going to tell.

As an aside, as an at-large-missionary, I have more places to use "year end budget surpluses," than the money that falls from the sky can rain, ... so ... in case you can't find a place  ;D ...

Start a Synod wide prison ministry, or I have a place for an inner city mission start in Denver, and one in Colorado Springs, and a Hispanic ministry that another congregation could use help with, and ... well .. Just in case you can't find a place for the money ..... you can message me ... you don't have more than God can use right now shovel ready :)

I would also add that I am becoming more and more convinced God loves and blesses Pastor/Deaconess ministry teams. It is all too obvious as I just sit back and watch Him do what He wills.

TV
« Last Edit: November 30, 2010, 09:19:50 PM by TVerinus »
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kls

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Re: Pastor compensation
« Reply #17 on: November 30, 2010, 09:07:53 PM »
If they want to help a Lutheran congregation in Darke County (north of Dayton), we could use some help to meet our year end deficit   ;D

Hee hee.  I think they're looking more at helping overseas missions where the need is extremely great.  Would it suffice that I commit to praying for your congregation?

pr dtp

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Re: Pastor compensation
« Reply #18 on: November 30, 2010, 09:27:19 PM »
If they want to help a Lutheran congregation in Darke County (north of Dayton), we could use some help to meet our year end deficit   ;D

Hee hee.  I think they're looking more at helping overseas missions where the need is extremely great.  Would it suffice that I commit to praying for your congregation?

TV beat me to it!

How about 5 inner city ministries (4 churches and one school)  in a place with 240 languages, 140 different cultures and 3 million people in a 10 miles radius?  Presently served by one vicar, two deacons, a new sem grad, and a pastor who wanted to retire 3 years ago.  The school's teachers make 20-35 grand a year, in a community where a 2 bedroom apartment rents for 1700 a month.  107 students in the school, many on "scholarships"?

I know it may not be as romantic as overseas... but hey - you could send a few teams to help with VBS....as well.   ;D ;D ;D ;D  That'll give you time to learn Spanish, Portugeese, Russian, Korean, Tagalog and a Ethiopian dialect or two?

Timotheus Verinus

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Re: Pastor compensation
« Reply #19 on: November 30, 2010, 09:38:54 PM »
.....

The distinction between a pastor who has had the OHM conferred upon him by the call of a congregation and a layman who has not despite his level of education seems one of night and day to me.

 -- while a pastor is primarily dependent upon the working of the Holy Spirit in his action as a seelsorge.

I will never never denigrate the sacrifice men make in a four-year brick-and-mortar commitment to seminary and vicarage.  I extol it; it is the ideal to which we should strive, and it should be supplemented by regular continuing education once placed in the Office.

But I would much rather have a good man certified, called, and ordained to the Office even if he had to take an alternate route than let parishes go wanting for pastors to feed them and possibly lose respect for the OHM and ordination ...


Along with other comments made on this thread, I will reiterate, that this is both and, and comments on the ??? lack of training??? by alternate route/deacon etc. are insulting to real training. There are three congregations I can point to where sem trained pastors were replaced by deacons, and the congregation grew in numbers and faith, such that they could once again support a sem trained pastor. Do not diminish the second career, alternate route training that God used to make that happen, that the sem has not a single course for, apart from ??/ a one year vicarage? It is not either or, but both and. The seminaries might want to consider providing a "how does God restart" a congregation that has slipped to the point it cannot pay the pastor. That is a course that might be worth teaching ... if any at the sem know how to do it.... I know J&S does, and a few others out there as well. Instead of moaning and groaning ""teach, train, certify, and send" That's where the training is deficient right now.

We send young grads to dying congregation Colorado, because that's the only place they can go, and what have we taught that trains them for that? The second career guys have training up their sleeves, no room on the wall for another diploma, and TRAINING in having lived through a couple congregations that had been there before... Yeah .. lack of training that's the problem all right. But it isn't always in the alternate routes. There needs to be a synergy and Both And.

TV
« Last Edit: November 30, 2010, 09:40:28 PM by TVerinus »
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kls

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Re: Pastor compensation
« Reply #20 on: November 30, 2010, 10:21:06 PM »
I know it may not be as romantic as overseas...

It is definitely not about the romance of supporting overseas mission work that motivates our church.  We have traveled and seen firsthand the great need in African nations where even a $10k job per year and a $200 per month rental property would be viewed as living like a king.  We have been supportive of numerous missionaries and projects through the years and simply hope to expand on that with the additional blessings God has bestowed on the congregation this year.  A dear friend of mine (a Deaconess in Kenya) is involved with one ministry that is being considered, and another is possibly the LMI.  Our mission board is looking at many important projects that align with our commitment to serving our neighbors in need.  I'm sure some local initiatives are being considered, as well.  Of course this is above and beyond what we already do locally to serve our neighbors, as well.

ChrisG

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Re: Pastor compensation
« Reply #21 on: November 30, 2010, 10:25:35 PM »
If they want to help a Lutheran congregation in Darke County (north of Dayton), we could use some help to meet our year end deficit   ;D

Hee hee.  I think they're looking more at helping overseas missions where the need is extremely great.  Would it suffice that I commit to praying for your congregation?
If you have a surplus, I would submit that you should first and foremost make sure that those in need in your own congregation are cared for.  Set up a benevolence fund for people that are struggling with job loss, health issues, etc.  Set some aside for a rainy day (we had four families in our church that sustained heavy flood damage in May in the Nashville floods - we were able to help them out substantially).  Sometimes we are quick to offer meals or rides, but are reluctant to cut a check.  Secondly, I would consider supporting churches in your circuit or district that are having a hard time affording a pastor (either keeping one or calling one).  You might be doing that already, but those things can be overlooked sometimes.
Just my 2 cents.

kls

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Re: Pastor compensation
« Reply #22 on: November 30, 2010, 10:39:39 PM »
If you have a surplus, I would submit that you should first and foremost make sure that those in need in your own congregation are cared for.  Set up a benevolence fund for people that are struggling with job loss, health issues, etc.  Set some aside for a rainy day (we had four families in our church that sustained heavy flood damage in May in the Nashville floods - we were able to help them out substantially).  Sometimes we are quick to offer meals or rides, but are reluctant to cut a check.  Secondly, I would consider supporting churches in your circuit or district that are having a hard time affording a pastor (either keeping one or calling one).  You might be doing that already, but those things can be overlooked sometimes.
Just my 2 cents.

Thanks, Chris.  Already doing that as you suggested.  My husband, the pastor, is extremely committed to assisting his own flock and also filling the needs within our own community when we can do it in a way that is helpful.  We have a Federation of Lutheran churches in Cincinnati that the church supports financially which provides chaplaincy services, campus ministry as well as a Deaconess working in the very dangerous Over-the-Rhine area (I volunteer for this organization).   Some of the surplus may likely be used to support members going to Haiti next year to assist with WR/HC's Building Homes and Hope in Haiti project.  We are definitely not without options for using God's gifts wisely.

Timotheus Verinus

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Re: Pastor compensation
« Reply #23 on: November 30, 2010, 10:46:21 PM »
If you have a surplus, I would submit that you should first and foremost make sure that those in need in your own congregation are cared for.  Set up a benevolence fund for people that are struggling with job loss, health issues, etc.  Set some aside for a rainy day (we had four families in our church that sustained heavy flood damage in May in the Nashville floods - we were able to help them out substantially).  Sometimes we are quick to offer meals or rides, but are reluctant to cut a check.  Secondly, I would consider supporting churches in your circuit or district that are having a hard time affording a pastor (either keeping one or calling one).  You might be doing that already, but those things can be overlooked sometimes.
Just my 2 cents.

Thanks, Chris.  Already doing that as you suggested.  My husband, the pastor, is extremely committed to assisting his own flock and also filling the needs within our own community when we can do it in a way that is helpful.  We have a Federation of Lutheran churches in Cincinnati that the church supports financially which provides chaplaincy services, campus ministry as well as a Deaconess working in the very dangerous Over-the-Rhine area (I volunteer for this organization).   Some of the surplus may likely be used to support members going to Haiti next year to assist with WR/HC's Building Homes and Hope in Haiti project.  We are definitely not without options for using God's gifts wisely.

Great point Chris and I totally agree. And I would say that based on what Kim notes, God knows who to give the money to. :) Ten talents or not.

Mike,

Don't go to bed sad. I know you have always supported both. My comment was only to warn against what we think is ideal. We do faithfully what we have been enabled, with the gifts God gives and He does the work. My call is  for us to be faithful in both places, and beware setting one against the other. God - self evidently - is willing to bless both.

TV
« Last Edit: November 30, 2010, 10:51:37 PM by TVerinus »
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Dave_Poedel

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Re: Pastor compensation
« Reply #24 on: November 30, 2010, 10:55:08 PM »
The discussion on this thread is so.....out there for a guy like me, who God has used to "turn around" three congregations previously served by "brick & mortar" guys, and all are now in good shape, doing the stuff congregations are supposed to do...and all but the one I currently serve now have "brick and mortar" guys....but my poor congregation is going to have to limp along with poor and inadequate pastoral care provided by this alternate route Colloquy guy.....sheesh, as Charles would say.

LCMS87

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Re: Pastor compensation
« Reply #25 on: November 30, 2010, 11:48:36 PM »
Did you miss, Padre, another thread where it was noted that some of the greatest Lutherans were baptized in Roman Catholic parishes?  Surely anything your congregation misses in your lack of brick and mortar time is made up for by the place where you were washed, don't you think?

NavyJeff

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Re: Pastor compensation
« Reply #26 on: December 01, 2010, 09:15:15 AM »
What is a "brick and mortar" guy?

Charles_Austin

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Re: Pastor compensation
« Reply #27 on: December 01, 2010, 10:03:38 AM »
Do LCMS seminarians pay a lot for their seminary education, or does seminary support come mostly from the Synod?

John_Hannah

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Re: Pastor compensation
« Reply #28 on: December 01, 2010, 10:07:54 AM »
Do LCMS seminarians pay a lot for their seminary education, or does seminary support come mostly from the Synod?

Synod's support has been dramatically reduced over the past 40 years. Last I heard was about 5 years ago when I think only 4% of the Sem's (that was St. Louis) budget came from Synod. Student now incur significant debt.
Pr. JOHN HANNAH, STS

kls

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Re: Pastor compensation
« Reply #29 on: December 01, 2010, 10:26:07 AM »
My husband and I both got through the seminary from 2002-2006 with one student loan of $6,000 (and that was because of my studies).  He also was supporting a family of six at this same time.  Tuition was covered by grant-in-aid then.  We got into trouble, by our own choice, on vicarage, because we were not willing to move twice and force our children to uproot schools twice in two years.  We took on a mortgage that year on a vicar's salary ($6.15 an hour I think at that time).  We had a little more credit card debt that year than we would have liked in order to make ends meet, but we managed to get out from under it through some personal family sacrifices (i.e. mom went to work full-time in a secular job that paid more than the church).  I'm looking forward to very soon transitioning back to part-time hours if and when my boss finally gives me the go-ahead.

My prayer is that the Synod will make it possible for other men to study without the burden of debt.  Adding another LCMS seminary in a more helpful location to further reduce the burden is something I would totally approve of if funding was available.  On-line courses are certainly an option in my mind as long as opportunities for mutual fellowship (and consolation ;D) among students and faculty were offered in 1-2 week intensives on campus.