Families Bless Pastor Through BBQ, Meals and Vacation Home

Jim and his wife, Mary, pastor a church of about 75 people on the outskirts of a major city. Jim worked in the business world and in his 50s felt God’s call to be a pastor. He works an average of 60 hours per week; his wife also works 30-40 hours per week, leading, loving and caring for their congregation. Their total compensation for working nearly 100 hours a week is only $40,000. And that includes their combined salary, housing, health care, retirement and ministry expenses.

When asked why they would work that many hours for such low pay, Jim said, “God called us to this church and we love these people.” The church loves them too. Many of the church families do practical and generous acts to show and share God’s love for Jim and Mary. Jim and Mary regularly invite people to their home for meals, especially BBQ meals. One day a church family showed up with a brand new BBQ grill that they gave them as an unexpected gift.

Sometimes when Jim and Mary go out to local restaurants for dinner, the waitress tells them someone has already paid their bill. One church friend went as far as offering them their vacation home anytime they wanted to use it. Other times, people come by with food or drop off surprise packages of groceries and other items on their front porch. Because the people at the church regularly show and share God’s love, Jim and Mary feel blessed and happy.

In America today, 50 percent of pastors make under $50,000 per year and do not receive health care, retirement or employee benefits. The bottom line, many churches have limited budgets and are often not able to compensate their pastors or church staff very well. That’s why the NAE created the Bless Your Pastor movement, which is mobilizing Christians and churches everywhere to show and share God’s love for their pastors and church staff even as churches work toward fair compensation.

What can you do to bless your pastor with your time, skills and resources? Find free resources to help encourage, empower and equip you, your church board and all your church families to care for your pastor and church staff on this website.