Relocation Expenses

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by Paul Kersey, Jun 6, 2011.

  1. Paul Kersey

    Paul Kersey
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    I am currently transitioning from bi-vocational to full-time status, and one church in a neighboring state seems seriously interested in hiring me as their senior pastor. We have not yet covered any information on relocation expenses, and I wanted to get some feedback before I bring the topic up. I realize it varies from situation to situation, but, generally speaking, do churches pay your duplicate mortgage payments and other moving expenses? I have a mortgage on my current house, and this church does not have a parsonage. Thus, I would have to immediately attempt to buy a house or make other similar arrangements for my family of 5. I cannot afford to pay 2 mortgages. This church runs about 160-200 in Sunday AM worship and is a SBC church in a metro area. What has been your experience in this area? Is it reasonable to expect to be reimbursed for these expenses?
     
  2. Tom Bryant

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    I think it is reasonable for moving expenses, but I've not heard of a church paying for duplicate mortgage expenses.
     
  3. TomVols

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    Tom's right. They will likely reimburse you (very key - make sure this isn't taxable) for your expenses in moving. A moving allowance won't cut it. However, I've never heard of a church paying duplicate mortgage payments. Remember that your housing allowance will only be deductible for your primary residence. The house back home? Sorry. IRS rules won't permit it.
     
  4. Dr. Bob

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    Normal - All moving expenses (itemized) including labor, truck, fuel for all vehicles, motels, meals, supplies, etc

    Normal - Begin pastor's salary at least a week prior to your coming - so you will be paid when not able to work your secular job during "moving week".

    Normal - provide either a manse or a housing allowance to cover rent/normal utilities (not personal phone) for living.

    From your salary any bills you currently have - including payments on car, boat, home, time share, credit-cards, schooling - are YOUR bills. You must be certain they will pay enough actual salary to cover this as it might be a year + to sell your home.

    The church is not responsible for your bills prior to coming. They have no obligation (and should not) to help you pay other debts from previous years.

    (Personal - I would ask for a generous $$ housing that would more than cover rent/utilites in an upscale area. You might opt to live in a more modest rental and use some of the money to pay your mortgage from your previous life)

    PS - the seeds of tension in the church are sown RIGHT NOW. YOU must be pleased (not just satisfied) with the "package" they offer. If not, problems will arise. At the same time they must see your understanding of the church financial situation and not "resent" you as money-grubbing.
     
  5. John Toppass

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    Unless there have been changes in the last few years, moving expenses due to job change is tax deductible, if you are reimbursed for those expenses then it is not your deduction.
    Something to take note of, is that while the fed income tax stays the same, some states have different income tax rates ranging from none to very high this should be a consideration as well.

    If this move is one from God then rest assured He will provide. Listen to God, make sure the desires of your heart are coming from seeking His will.


    Prayers for your and your family's change.
     
    #5 John Toppass, Jun 14, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 14, 2011
  6. TomVols

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    You can do this, but you cannot use an income tax free housing allowance to do it. Any money you use on a second home (be it a previous home, vacation home, etc.) cannot be excluded from income tax.
     
  7. Paul Kersey

    Paul Kersey
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    I appreciate everyone's helpful advice. John, I especially thank you for your prayers and encouragement. This search committee has already come to hear me preach, and I have had multiple conversations with the chairman of the search committee. I have a phone interview this evening with the full committee. Based on the comments of the chairman and my prayers on the subject, I have a positive feeling about the situation.

    We have some loose ends that need to be addressed, but, as has been stated here, if God is in this, all of the problems will be solved.
     
  8. Jim1999

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    Just a word, if I may. In my time a pastor was called to ministry and not a job. He received a financial benefit, and not a wage. He did not bargain the amount or benefits, just hoped for enough to meet expenses and provide a living.

    The times have changed, and I see it more and more treated as a job, which troubles my mind. We hire more and more staff, fully paid in even small churches. In my time, the only ones paid anything, was the pastor and the custodian. All others were volunteers, and happily so.

    Just my thought. Moving expenses?

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  9. Tom Butler

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    Definitely yes. They can run into thousands of dollars.
     
  10. SaggyWoman

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    I would think that they would cover moving expenses. I don't know of many churches that have helped pay an extra mortgage, but maybe there is someone you can stay with in the church until your house sells?
     
  11. Jim1999

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    If he can't afford the move, maybe he isn't called to that church.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  12. sag38

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    My last move cost a little over $5000,00. I guess according to Jim's logic that I should have stayed put. But, the church paid the costs and I am thankful.
     
  13. John Toppass

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    I know God will make sure that His will be done in the lives of those who seek it.

    How should it be taken if the pastor's old church jumps in to make sure he could be moved promptly? :tongue3:
     
  14. Jim1999

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    On one occasion, a pastor was moving from Ontario to Manitoba. He took on driving a school bus to Alberta, where all expenses were paid by the school bus company. We unloaded his furniture in Manitoba and delivered the bus in Alberta. Moving cost nothing, and he even earned a few dollars to boot.

    Just a sample of the things we did back then.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     

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