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CARE Initiative seeks to address economic issues facing pastoral leaders and to advocate for pastors and church boards in pastor financial planning and compensation.

What is CARE

Man giving a lectureAddressing Economic Challenges Facing Pastoral leaders is a national initiative of Lilly Endowment Inc*.

CARE is the Church of God Ministries’ program that directs this initiative for pastors and church board members in the Church of God (Anderson, Indiana) in the United States.

If you are credentialed by a USA-based credentialing committee of the Church of God…

If you are a governing board member of a Church of God congregation…

Then CARE provides important resources and assistance for you.

READ MORE

CARE seeks to address economic issues facing pastoral leaders of the Church of God in the United States. This initiative is made possible through a generous grant from the Lilly Endowment, Inc.

What you need to know about CARE:

  • Provides incentives for pastors to take part in personal financial education
  • Offers no-cost financial planning for pastors and their families
  • Matches contributions for pastors and congregations that enroll in pension savings program through Servant Solutions
  • Develops strategies that help young pastors pay down educational debt
  • Assists new pastors to establish healthy financial plans as they transition into the first years of congregational ministry
  • Provides opportunities for established pastors to renew and sustain their commitments to healthy financial practices

 

Initially, CARE Initiative is a three-year strategy with two purposes: financial education and financial assistance. The goal is to establish a three-way partnership among pastors; congregational leaders; and CARE partners, primarily Servant Solutions, the pension-planning group for the Church of God.

Ultimately, CARE seeks to inform and challenge the ways congregations bless their pastors and encourage pastors in their long arc of ministry.

CARE is a ministry effort of the advancement team of Church of God Ministries, Inc.

*Lilly Endowment Inc. is an Indianapolis-based, private philanthropic foundation created in 1937 by three members of the Lilly family — J.K. Lilly Sr. and sons J.K. Jr. and Eli — through gifts of stock in their pharmaceutical business, Eli Lilly and Company.

Gifts of stock in Eli Lilly and Company remain the financial bedrock of the Endowment. We are, however, a separate entity from the company, with a distinct governing board, staff and location.

In keeping with the wishes of the three founders, Lilly Endowment exists to support the causes of religion, education and community development. The Endowment affords special emphasis to projects that benefit young people and promote leadership education and financial self-sufficiency in the nonprofit, charitable sector.

What Financial Planning Resources Are Available?

The development of these resources is underwritten by CARE Initiative funds:

CARE Financial Planning—A CARE Financial Planner is available to confer with pastors and church boards and offer direct financial consultation related to pastoral compensation. These consultations offer a variety of services to pastors and church boards through a variety of contact options: telephone, on-site, and virtual. All financial planning consultations are offered to pastors and boards—absolutely free.

CARE Regional Training Seminars—These six-hour on-site training events offer pastors and church board members practical information for understanding the nuances of pastoral compensation. Expert and engaging facilitators will initiate round-table discussion in an interactive and enjoyable environment. Discussion titles include: Pastoral Compensation is Complicated, The Cost of Ministry vs. the Cost of the Minister, Pastoral Compensation and the IRS, and Equitable Compensation Matters.

Pastoral Compensation: A Manual for Church Boards—The purpose of this Manual is to provide congregational boards a Church of God-branded resource that presents pastoral compensation rationale and guidelines.

Pastoral Compensation: Questions and Answers—Video Series. These short videos are designed for use in church board meetings with members. Each three- to five-minute video answers one question related to pastoral compensation and support. The video package, available online, is divided into three sets, each set focusing on three to five questions. For example:

Spiritual Matters: Faith and Finance for Education and Ministry. This workbook is the result of the Anderson University School of Theology “Financial Wholeness Project” funded by the Lilly Endowment, Inc. This resource is written with a twofold purpose: 1) to help align understanding of resources with the biblical witness, and 2) to provide an avenue to live with financial wholeness across the long arc of pastoral ministry. This is an invitation to live in a counter-cultural lifestyle and mission.

READ MORE

CARE Financial Planning—A CARE Financial Planner is available to confer with pastors and church boards and offer direct financial consultation related to pastoral compensation. These consultations offer a variety of services to pastors and church boards through a variety of contact options: telephone, on-site, and virtual. All financial planning consultations are offered to pastors and boards—absolutely free.

Ryan Harter has been named the first CARE Financial Planner in a strategic partnership between CARE Initiative and Servant Solutions, and serves with the staff of Servant Solutions.

For consultation information and appointments, complete the Inquiry Page linked to the How Do I Begin? section of this web page. 

CARE Seminars—These six-hour on-site training events offer pastors and church board members practical information for understanding the nuances of pastoral compensation. Expert and engaging facilitators will initiate round-table discussion in an interactive and enjoyable environment. Discussion titles include: Pastoral Compensation is Complicated, The Cost of Ministry vs. the Cost of the Minister, Pastoral Compensation and the IRS, and How Do I Talk With My Board About Pastoral Compensation?

National Training Seminars:

Wichita, KS                 Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Northwest                   June 2018

Additional CARE Seminars are hosted regionally throughout the year by invitation from regional ministry offices and educational institutions.

Registration: FREE to pastors, spouse, and church board members. To RSVP, contact Roz Hency at RHency@chog.org or 800-848-2464.

Pastoral Compensation: A Manual for Church Boards—The purpose of this Manual is to provide congregational boards a Church of God-branded resource that presents pastoral compensation rationale and guidelines.

The Manual is a collection of pastoral compensation topics authored by knowledgeable persons in the Church of God.

Chapter titles include:

  • Clergy Compensation is Complicated (Jeff Jenness)
  • The Cost of a Minister vs. The Cost of a Ministry (Jim O’Bold)
  • Equitable Compensation Planning (James Brown)
  • Pastoral Compensation and the IRS (Julie Nance)
  • Keeping Your Pastor Healthy (Randy Spence)
  • Staff Pastors and Compensation Considerations (Vickie Doyle)
  • Part-Time and Bi-Vocational Pastor Compensation (Bill Riley)
  • Interim Pastor Compensation (Oral Withrow, posthumously)
  • Best Practices in Pastoral Compensation (Bob Moss)
  • Pastoral Compensation: Thinking Theologically (James Lewis)

Order by contacting Roz Hency at RHency@chog.org or 800-848-2464.

 

Pastoral Compensation: Questions and Answers—Video Series.

These short videos are designed for use in church board meetings with members. Each five-minute video answers one question related to pastoral compensation and support. The video package, available online, is divided into three sets. For example:

Introduction
  1. Set Three—Organizational Considerations

  2. For information, contact Roz Hency at RHency@chog.org.

 

  1. Spiritual Matters: Faith and Finance for Education and Ministry. This workbook is the result of the Anderson University School of Theology “Financial Wholeness Project” funded by the Lilly Endowment, Inc. This resource is written with a twofold purpose: 1) to help align understanding of resources with the biblical witness, and 2) to provide an avenue to live with financial wholeness across the long arc of pastoral ministry. This is an invitation to live in a counter-cultural lifestyle and mission.

    Currently available through Anderson University, School of Theology for free download online at Faith and Finances Book.

How Does CARE Work?

CARE Initiative addresses the critical economic issues facing pastoral leaders in two sequential ways: Education and Assistance.

 

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Educational Participation

CARE begins with a directed and purposeful educational effort and involvement for both pastors and congregational financial decision makers. The entry point is the participation in educational opportunities and planning.

CARE offers free financial counsel to ministry students in higher education (undergraduate and graduate). The goal is to encourage intentional planning for minimizing and paying down education debt.

CARE sponsors annual Regional Training Seminars. These six-hour seminars highlight expert presenters in clergy compensation, round-table discussions, and opportunity for question/answer sessions. Seminars are free and include additional vouchers to go toward lodging and travel expenses. Seminar participation, either pre- or post-assistance fund awards, is the expectation of the program.

CARE makes available the Manual for Church Boards and an accompanying video series, Pastoral Compensation: Questions and Answers.

LEARN MORE

CARE begins with a directed and purposeful educational effort and involvement for both pastors and congregational financial decision makers. The entry point is the participation in these kinds of educational opportunities:

  • CARE provides free one-on-one financial planning for pastors and free consultation with church boards regarding compensation through the CARE Financial Planner. Financial planning consultation is an expectation of the program.

CARE offers free financial counsel to ministry students in higher education (undergraduate and graduate). The goal is to encourage intentional planning for minimizing and paying down education debt.

CARE Financial Planner, Ryan Harter: rharter@servantsolutions.org
or 800-844-8983.

  • CARE sponsors annual Regional Training Seminars. These six-hour seminars highlight expert presenters in clergy compensation, round-table discussions, and opportunity for question/answer sessions. Seminars are free and include additional vouchers to go toward lodging and travel expenses. Seminar participation, either pre- or post-assistance fund awards, is the expectation of the program.
  • CARE makes available the Manual for Church Boards and an accompanying video series, Pastoral Compensation: Questions and Answers.

Ministry Excellence Funds (Assistance)

Once pastors and board members have participated in educational and consulting venues, pastors may make application for Ministry Excellence Funds (MEF).

Ministry Excellence funds address three particular pastoral economic issues: (1) educational debt relief, (2) retirement planning assistance, and (3) transition assistance.

Congregational Matching Funds—The expectation of matching congregational contributions increases the potential of open and supportive conversation between pastor and congregational financial decision-makers. Such conversations can be learning opportunities for lay leaders to understand more fully the scope of pastoral financial demands and to respond accordingly within their means to do so. The desired result is that congregations continue these budgeted financial line items beyond the time frame of the CARE Initiative.

Once pastors and board members have participated in educational and consulting venues, pastors may make application for Ministry Excellence Funds (MEF).

Ministry Excellence funds address three particular pastoral economic issues: (1) educational debt relief, (2) retirement planning assistance, and (3) transition assistance.

  • Educational Debt Relief— The parameters of this ministry education debt assistance fund is limited to younger pastors who are less than forty years old and less than ten years in credentialed ministry in the Church of God.

Ministerial students, undergraduate and graduate, will be counseled in their intentional planning toward debt minimization and reduction and be provided a plan for in achieving that goal with guidance from the CARE Financial Planner.

Process: After one year of pastoral service in a congregation, a pastor may apply for ministry educational assistance. Grant funds will award a one-time congregational match up to $500. The pastor can re-apply for a one-year renewable payment for a maximum CARE payment over two years of $1,000. With the full congregational match, the two-year amount would be $2,000. The CARE payment will be made in December of the applicable year.

  • Retirement Planning Assistance—Retirement seed funds will be made available to assist pastors both to enter and to re-engage a retirement fund through Servant Solutions. This assistance fund is limited to younger pastors who are less than forty years old and less than ten years in credentialed ministry in the Church of God.

Process: Qualification for this CARE matching fund is based on a three-way partnership. Eligibility will be determined through a one-on-one assessment with the Pastor Financial Planner, Servant Solutions. Once pastors and church treasurers have completed the application, a plan to augment the pastor’s contribution monthly over a one-year period will be implemented: $50 (congregation) + $10 (pastor) + $50 (CARE) = $110 per month for 1 year. This formula provides $1,320 toward a pastor’s retirement account each year. CARE funds are one-year renewable. The annual CARE contribution will be added to the pastor’s Servant Solution account in December of the applicable year.

Congregational Matching Funds—The expectation of matching congregational contributions increases the potential of open and supportive conversation between pastor and congregational financial decision-makers. Such conversations can be learning opportunities for lay leaders to understand more fully the scope of pastoral financial demands and to respond accordingly within their means to do so. The desired result is that congregations continue these budgeted financial line items beyond the time frame of the CARE Initiative.

  • Transition Assistance—During extended search processes, pastoral candidates have limited income and, many times, find times of transition to be financially challenging. Direct assistance for pastors in crisis will be made available at regional levels. Regional pastors (RPs) will serve as conduits in the application process for these Ministry Excellence Funds.

Process: Eligibility will be determined through an application process with the regional pastor of the state or region of the exiting congregation. Upon recommendation from the regional pastor, a one-time award of $500 per-month with a cap of three months will be granted to the pastor in transition. Assistance funds will be limited to pastors experiencing 1) involuntary transitions and 2) with no immediate relocation plan. Transition assistance is non-renewable.

How Do I Begin

Step 1—Inquiry

Click on the link below to register your inquiry into the benefits of the CARE Initiative.

inset question

One of three persons will respond to your inquiry within two working days: Ryan Harter, Cheryl Elff, or Joseph Cookston. The purpose of this conversation is to establish an encouraging connection regarding your particular concerns and requests.

Click here for an Inquiry Form

 

Step 2—Registrations and Applications   

After the initial conversation with a CARE representative, you will receive links to the appropriate services, registrations, and applications.

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