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Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by Gib, Sep 6, 2004.
A pastorium is… (choose one)
a) a small pastor
b) a miniature portable baptismal.
c) an extended vacation for the pastor
d) a group of Hebrew pastors
e) a small washing basin similar to a bidet.
f) a parsonage (housing) for a pastor
The correct answer is (F).
I wasn’t familiar with the term and had to look it up.
One of the pastors lives on site, the senior pastor lives off site. We house our maintenance man’s family and our operations directors’ family too.
We also a have a single house on our property that is used for long term missionary housing during furloughs (we’ve opened it to a number of churches in the area for their use too).
[ September 06, 2004, 10:19 AM: Message edited by: Deacon ]
Our church has a beautiful 2 story plantation home on our property that is used for ladies gatherings. The house has mold.
Our church provides a housing allowance to 4 of our pastors. Our retired pastor doesn't receive anything nor does our hispanic minister as he's not really a 'church employee'.
I would not expect any of our pastor's to want to live in the plantation home. It's on a busy street and has only 2 large bedrooms up VERY steep stairs. The only bath is downstairs. The smell of the mold makes me ill for days after I go into the house.
You aren't really helping a pastor out if you give him a home. Let him build up equity of a home of his own and his own choosing.
But providing a manse/parsonage/pastorium DOES build up equity for the church.
It also helps pastors NOT to have roots in the community and easily be able to leave town when the problems arise or the call to another church entices.
It also allows pastors to leave pastorates under normal conditions without having to sell a house, buy another and the problems if the first one doesn't sell.
Mixed bag with pros and cons. One friend bought a house in a very small town and owned it for about ten years after he left - a real drag on his finances and time as he had to rent it and make trips now and then to check on things and keep up repairs.
A Parsonage is a "Catch 22"
My wife and I have a pastor friend and his wife who their whole career long involved a parsonage. When they retired----guess what they had?? Nothin'! No house to live in! No equity to borrow!
I've pastored now for 15 years---all in parsonages---ready for my own house! Some folks will say, "But you're called to pastor!" Alright, then! You trade places! You live in a parsonage and I'll live in your house! You "no build equity!" I build it!
We live in a parsonage. It is a nice home, ranch style, 3 bedroom. It has a big lawn, though- and I've only got a push lawn mower! With three daughters, looks like I'll be busy for a long time...
This is a rather difficult matter, though. I do see the benefit it would be to my family and I if we were able to own our own home. But, it seems rather self-serving a subject to bring up yourself, especially when our church is just not in the position to do much more financially- we don't even get health insurance, which is par for the course from what I've been able to gather for our churches here. I'm not complaining- the Lord supplies our needs in many wonderful ways. The parsonage arrangment has allowed our church to offer a wonderful benefit to its pastor during some lean years.
Well Pastor Greg, our daughter is in Portland so I know you don't have to mow 10 months out of the year, twice a week like some of us AND with 3 daughters.... you'll have boys offering to mow that yard really soon.
In ancient times, a town could have a synagogue if there were ten male heads of household in town--because that was enough to support a rabbi, since they all tithed!
A church which does not support its pastor adequately needs to examine itself. A lot of full time pastors around here have wives who work full time so that their family can have medical insurance. Even more of our pastors are bi-vocational, and a glance at the church parking lot on Sunday morning would make you wonder why they can't better support their pastor, given the money they have invested in family vehicles.
I did not know there were churches that did not offer housing allowence to a pastor. After all isn't a housing allowence is technically a part of salary designated to be something special for tax purposes. If a pastor has to make payments on housing and utilities then a Church should designate a portion of his salary to at least give him a tax break.
Our church spends about $75,000. a year on housing allowances for our ministers. We also provide funds for their retirement and health insurance for their families.
I agree with Major B.
And it is one of the few legitimate DOUBLE tax breaks.
Assume a church will pay $30k
If they pay you that and you buy a house, you pay 100% tax on the $30k and then deduct the house expense/loan interest. Not much.
If they pay you $20k and give you a $10k housing allowance, you only pay TAX on the $20k (you must pay social security on the extra $10k) and still get all the deductions of house expense/loan interest as above.
Ask your church treasurer to set up the books that way. It takes action of the church (an annual budget) but you can also take some of the $30k of our fictional pastor and set up for car, library, study, conferences, utilities, health, etc. And pay tax on LOW amount. Legally.
We live in a parsonage as well. Its very roomy and well kept. We don't have to cut the grass or pay any utilities. But we dont have health insurance and we really dont "own" anything but a car. We would love to buy some land here, but people think the pastor needs to live in the parsonage. (They also like to drive by and gawk!) Its really a moot point though. We have better provisions than any other pastor we know of in a similar church setting. They are really really good to us and we love it here.
The tax break for pastor's purchasing their own home far out weighs the advantage of having a parsonage in the larger towns and cities. In the rural areas a parsonage is usually needed because of unavailibility of housing, often times even if you had a stack of money ready to buy a house.
I was told long ago that I should make plans to purchase a piece of land or house somewhere I would want to live and hang on to it, regardless of where I end up pastoring. Sounds like good advice.
My best friend since jr. high is now a fellow pastor in California. He has three boys, each one slighty older than my three girls...
That seems an awfully long way to come just to mow the lawn...
My wife and I had this choice when we first came to the church. Build a parsonage or build our own home. We talked to a number of pastors who either had or did not have a parsonage. The overwhelming feeling was not to have one or use the parsonage for an assistant pastor. Here were there reasons:
1. A home gives your wife security if something happens to you. She doesn't have to leave in 30 days so that the next pastor can have the house.
2. A home allows you to build equity towards retirement.
3. A home is yours and your wife can decorate it as she pleases without potentially offending anyone.
4. A home is not on the church's property and gives you some privacy. In a parsonage on the property, people will stop by at any time they wish, usually without any notice.
5. In the event of a split or something that causes the pastor to be released, fired, or quit, there is no pressure to leave a parsonage.
These things made building our own home an easy decision.
If a pastor is not willing to put down roots, he should not pastor. One thing wrong with our Baptist Churches today is that pastors don't stay long enough to put down roots and grow fruit.
Some soil won't support a root system. Never has, and there is a good possibility it never will.
Can I come on staff at your church?