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.
The 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.
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. 🙂