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Parsonage vs. Housing Allowance?

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by scubablt, Nov 22, 2004.

  1. scubablt

    scubablt New Member

    Nov 6, 2004
    Greetings. I would like to open up the topic of "Parsonages vs. Housing Allowances" for Pastors and Ministers to see what you all think. I assume that putting it under the larger category of "Pastoral Ministry" is appropriate since it relates to pastors, their compensation packages, and their ministries.

    I would imagine that over the years this topic has been discussed before, but I am new to the Baptist Board, so forgive me if it is "old news." But, for now I thought it was worth talking about and getting some discussion going.

    I have had both "Parsonages" and "Housing Allowances" (where we tried to buy a house.) There are definitely PROS :D and CONS :( for both... no doubt about that! As I continue my ministry, I would like to have more info and advice from others to help me decide the best thing to do.
    Thanks. BLT [​IMG]

    <edited only to correct typo in the header>

    [ November 24, 2004, 12:53 AM: Message edited by: C4K ]
  2. Circuitrider

    Circuitrider <img src=/circuitrider2.JPG>

    Aug 22, 2000
    I have been in both catagories and currently I own my own home. Home ownership is probably the best overall option, since that is a person's best single investment toward retirement. With a parsonage the church gets the equity for the pastor's house and the pastor is left with nothing. However, some churches with parsonages are giving their pastor a yearly allotment to offset that loss. The single negative of home ownership as I see it is that of dealing with the house when you are moving on. We are seeing in Wisconsin a growing trend away from church parsonages toward pastoral home ownership. [​IMG]
  3. Jim1999

    Jim1999 <img src =/Jim1999.jpg>

    Aug 10, 2002
    Back in the sixties, we started to do away with church owned parsonages, in baptist circles. Prior to that, few of us had pension plans and virtually had to preach until dead or disabled. The Canadian government introduced Canada Pension and suddenly we had a retirement fund, but no house. We found it far better to invest in that house while we were young. In some areas where houses do not sell well, some churches have maintained parsonages, and this can be a good thing, if a small church in such a location expects to engage a pastor.

    There can be no set answer, except the preacher must prepare for the inevitable...retirement.



    PS. My present home is mortgage and debt free and this old retired preacher is enjoying his golden years.
  4. Dr. Bob

    Dr. Bob Administrator

    Jun 30, 2000
    A parsonage actually encourages SHORT pastorates, as men can come/go without roots of home ownership.

    A parsonage, however, WAS of great benefit in my younger years. We had NO money (actually were in the hole after grad work) and NO hope of ever buying a home. Our church remodeled one for us and it saved our lives.
  5. PastorLynn

    PastorLynn New Member

    Dec 21, 2004
    I think a church in a very small town or a rural church should maintain a parsonage because there usually are few houses for sale or rent. In larger towns and cities a pastor would do well to purchase his own home.

    My Youth Pastor just accepted a call to another church last week. His last day with us will be the 31st. His house sold in less than a week after it was listed. The 2nd couple that looked at it signed a contract on it. They have only owned the home for 2 1/2 years and made money on it. They plan to put the equity into mutual funds or an IRA until they get ready to purchase another home. His new position is in a small central Texas town and the church has a nice parsonage for them.