With healthcare costs rising, some church members are suggesting either I should go bivocational or my wife should work full-time to get benefits for us, saving the church a lot of money. Is it right for the church to expect another business to pay for their pastor’s insurance?
Depending on the size and financial situation of the church, what you mentioned may be the only option. Health insurance, on the other hand, is not an option. One major family health issue can devastate a pastor’s financial life for years.
A church should provide whatever it can to meet the needs of their pastor. In some cases, sharing the financial burden is an option. If a spouse’s place of business provides coverage, that should not be viewed as them providing for the church’s responsibility, but as a blessing from the Lord. Be open to the options that are available.
VP Mike Pence got criticized in Washington for refusing to meet with women alone. It unfairly excluded women from key meetings, some people said. Beyond having a window in the office door, how does a pastor handle a staff of men and women, without seeming to exclude the women sometimes?
Vice President Pence made his decision to protect the integrity of his position. Pastors need to do the same thing.
There will be times when a pastor has to meet with a female staff member or a female church member. He should always keep the desk between him and the woman. He should avoid anything more than a handshake when alone with her. (A public hug might be allowed with others around when consoling or congratulating her.)
Within the context of a meeting, set a time limit and let an administrative assistant know how long you will be in a one-on-one situation. Above all, simply be a man of integrity.
Pat Pajak is IBSA’s associate executive director for evangelism. Send questions for Pat to IllinoisBaptist@IBSA.org.