Churches often demand a tremendous amount of loyalty from their pastoral staff. Working extremely long hours for very low pay and anemic health care benefits are just some of the sacrifices most pastors make in the name of “doing the Lord’s work.”
But when declining church attendance and a global economic crisis both leave their dent in church collection plates, often times churches aren’t able to (or are unwilling to) show their staff that same loyalty. And a growing number of pastors across the country are finding themselves unemployed. Adding insult to injury is the fact that their church’s tax-exempt status keeps them from qualifying for unemployment benefits, making the layoffs hit families in the ministry even harder.
When layoffs and cutbacks reach beyond the corporate world, and extend into the everyday life of our congregations, what opportunities arise for us to rethink the way we go about “doing business” in the church?
With declining numbers in the pews, is the answer for today’s churches to find ways to create new revenue streams?
Or might we do better to consider ways we can become less dependent on revenue?
(ht: Christianity Today)