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

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

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.

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.

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


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.

Step 1—Inquiry


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

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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