I remember a church council member saying, “You’re a pastor. Of course, you don’t understand finances.”
I had to admit my seminary training didn’t equip me to read a balance sheet or understand finances. So, twenty years ago, I corrected the situation and became a CFP® professional.
Now, when I look at church financial reports, I understand why so many churches are asking, “Can We Afford A Pastor?”
For my wife, Diane, and me, this question is important. To help others answer this question, we wrote a book, Can We Afford A Pastor? (A Step-By-Step Handbook With Ten Key Indicators Of Your Church’s Ability To Afford A Full-Time Pastor).
We are convinced you don’t need an advanced degree in order to grasp your church’s financial position. You need accurate financial records and worship attendance records—and you need to know how to interpret them.
Think about it. It only makes sense. If more people attend worship, your income will probably increase. If you balance your budget, you have enough income to pay your bills. If your church’s worship attendance and income trends are declining, eventually it will get harder to pay your bills—and harder to afford a full-time pastor.
Now, add to common sense a set of calculations and guidelines—and you have a handbook to help you understand your church’s ability to afford a full-time pastor.
We wanted to make this resource affordable and easy to access. So, we are making our book—Can We Afford A Pastor?—available at Amazon.com for the price of $2.99 (Kindle version) and $6.99 (paperback version).
We, also, want to thank Thrivent Financial for making it possible to send a copy of this book as a Christmas gift to all the Florida Bahamas Synod congregations that were in transition during the month of December 2017.
Pastor Dell and Diane Shiell are co-authors of two other books: Fair Exchange (A Ministry Exchange Between the USA and Norway) and Go, Pastor, Go! (How clergy can take an affordable sabbatical that rejuvenates their soul, reunites their family, and reignites their congregation by using a home exchange). Both books are available at Amazon.com.