Survey shows pastors’ financial concerns

Aug 17, 2015 by

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GOSHEN, Ind. — Half of Mennonite pastors have some level of concern about their personal finances, according to an Everence survey.

The survey shows 25 percent have concerns about meeting their financial obligations, and 15 percent report that they have considered leaving the pastorate due to financial concerns. Nearly 1,300 credentialed pastors from Mennonite Church USA and Conservative Mennonite Conference were contacted.

The most frequently mentioned concerns included:

  • Saving for retirement (40 percent)
  • Student loan debt (28 percent)
  • Low salary (22 percent)
  • Housing costs (20 percent)
  • Health care (13 percent)
  • Lack of emergency savings (13 percent)

Pastors with household incomes of less than $50,000 were the most likely to express concerns. Racial/ethnic pastors were more likely to fit into this income category.

The survey revealed that 75 percent of pastors receive gifts from their congregations beyond salary. These gifts range from financial assistance to food to use of vacation homes.

CMC pastors are significantly less likely to report student debt and are more likely to be bivocational than MC USA pastors.

The results of the survey are being used by Everence to write a grant application to Lilly Endowment that would provide funding to address some of the key needs identified by pastors.

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