Pastor-ly Thoughts

sunshine-2I think I’ve mentioned before that Husband is a minister, right?

If not, it wouldn’t surprise me. It’s not information I volunteer very often, as it tends to put a damper on conversations. Plus, people start apologizing for their language, even when all they said was “heck.” It’s hellishly annoying.

Anyway, I bring it up now because it explains why I know about the situation I’ll be sharing with you today.

It’s often difficult for small, rural churches to find a pastor, as I’m sure you can imagine. Because of their limited resources the pay isn’t much, and the work itself usually doesn’t offer much of a challenge. Recently, Husband heard of a church in rural Montana that, along with their presbytery, came up with a clever solution to their problem.

Elbow-River-and-Falls-Kananaskis-Country-Alberta-CanadaThe church is described as “very small” and “very rural.” It has 12 members and is located nearly 20 miles from the nearest paved road. Obviously, not a real hot-spot for a pastor requiring a living wage.

Here’s the plan they came up with: They put the request out to retired pastors to come for only a year or two. Their workweek would only be one or two days, figuring that in the off-time the pastor could explore Montana, write a book, and think deep, pastor-ly thoughts.

Since the pay isn’t much, they came up with a compensation plan that included fly-fishing and archery lessons, a book of the month about Montana or by a Montana author, a small weekly stipend, a monthly goodie basket, and free use of the church manse (aka parsonage). So far their plan is working out quite well.

SweatTreatsBasketAnd there’s just something about the inclusion of a monthly goodie basket that makes me smile.

I told Husband that when he retires, we need to look into that place. I want to see what they put in their monthly goodie baskets. 🙂

9 thoughts on “Pastor-ly Thoughts

  1. This sounds lovely! I bet they’ll get some great retired pastors. (On another note: Growing up as a PK, I know what you mean about not mentioning the family biz…people do tend to react –:)

    1. One positive though, it does tend to end conversations I find boring. As a general rule, I hate small talk and so mentioning his profession can put a stop to it real fast. Comes in handy at the hair salon! 😉

  2. I met the Lord or should I say “The Lord met me” in a small church.Including myself, my two girls we were in total twenty five. I would give anything to live in a small town and join a small church. I miss that.
    By the way, I’m now reading your comment where you asked me if I’ve been published? I would like to publish my blog posts; a small book, will call it “Laughter Medicine For The Soul.”
    Thank you very much for your heartfelt comments.

  3. Very creative. My nephew and his wife are both pastors. A while back they were both “pastoring” in a rural area. She had a church and he had two which he rotated between. Between the three churches they survived until her church (which was the biggest) ran out of money. She worked for free for six months. They moved to a town with more opportunity but they have fond memories of the rural church and all the food that was given to the pastors sometimes in lieu of pay.

    1. Yikes! I can’t imagine working without pay, but I’ve heard of ministers having to do it. Fortunately we’ve never been in that position, but before we came to Phoenix we were in a small town. The pay was low, but we were given lots of food to compensate!

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