|Vintage resource for churches|
(MMBB, ca. 1950s)
1) The Ministers and Missionaries Benefit Board (MMBB) is the American Baptist pension board. MMBB serves clergy and their families through providing retirement plans and other services. To learn more about providing benefits for your pastor, visit www.mmbb.org or call 1-800-986-6222. Guides for clergy compensation and manuals for tax and legal issues for church related employers are provided as PDF files and updated annually. Please ensure your church treasurer and other financial lay leadership are familiar with these provided resources.
2) Invite your ABCNYS Region staff to be part of a conversation about clergy compensation. While we do not have "conference minimums" as American Baptists, the Region staff can talk with your Pastoral Relations Committee, Trustees, or other leadership groups about the ways churches fairly compensate pastors, especially when financial challenges drive decisions for many churches. The Region can share strategies, best practices and other insights from working with the rest of our 293 churches. We are here to be of help to churches and pastors!
To register: http://www.abc-nys.org/programs/biennial/churchfinance. Advance registration STRONGLY recommended to ensure you have the seat(s) needed for your church.
Churches may wish to explore a "pastor sharing" opportunity with another local congregation. Many of our churches benefit from such relationships, and if handled well, two small churches can work together to share more than a clergy person. Shared ministry, mission and even other areas of expense savings can be found with some intentional conversation and mutual collaboration. Our Region staff is glad to connect you with pastors and churches from around the Region where you can learn from sister churches about such fruitful relationships.
5) Gain some perspective from reading about what other churches and denominations are dealing with in today's time of declining resources, members and funds. Here are three articles on clergy compensation issues:
The Atlantic.com website featured an article on the "collapse of middle class clergy" in the United States. Needless to say, this article has made the rounds on social media, highlighted by many clergy (including myself) that it points to something we already know: clergy are affected by the downturn of the US economy as well as the changes of religious interests in this country (i.e. declining congregations). LINK:http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2014/07/higher-calling-lower-wages-the-collapse-of-the-middle-class-clergy/374786/
Whether or not you may agree with the talking points made by these articles, we must realize the economic and missional challenges at hand. Let's be in dialogue about these issues in our churches and among our clergy collegiality groups!