Paying the Pastor: How to Figure Out Compensation for Clergy

As the Evergreen Project continues to create, collect, and curate the best resources for a thriving church, the issue of clergy compensation is unavoidable.

About a year ago, I wrote an article about this topic as part of a series on Awkward Church Questions.

  1. Who should have access to the giving records?
By |2019-10-24T10:22:11-05:00October 24th, 2019|Categories: For Pastors, Generosity|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Money Well Spent: Why Your Church Should Consider the Joy of Giving Up

The first sermon I ever heard on stewardship was called “The Sermon on the Amount”. It was classic. And bad!

It was spoken by a young layperson who had been commissioned by the Sr. Warden to “say a few words.” It was mercifully short. It was truly apologetic, in the bad sense of the word.

The preacher stood up near the front […]

By |2019-08-15T17:11:50-05:00August 15th, 2019|Categories: For Pastors, Generosity|Tags: , , |1 Comment

How Much Should We Pay the Pastor? (Awkward Church Questions, pt. 2)

These are the awkward questions during any board or Vestry meeting. You can feel a quiet come over the room. Everyone is hoping the subject will pass.

But there are five awkward questions that your church needs to be able to discuss.

Previously, we tackled the question of access to giving records. Hopefully, I’ve given you enough to open a dialogue. […]

Who Should Have Access to the Giving Records? The Senior Pastor (Awkward Church Questions, pt. 1)

They are not easy at first. They are ‘off-putting’, to use a colloquium. Or tacky. When the subjects come up, you can see everyone squirm in their seats. We wish we could just avoid them. But there are five of them that need to happen pretty routinely.

What I am talking about? Awkward questions like the following:

  1. Who should have access to […]
By |2019-10-24T08:00:37-05:00November 2nd, 2018|Categories: For Pastors, Generosity|Tags: , , , |1 Comment

4 Ways to Help 4 Different Generations Give Generously

Talking about generosity in the church is always a balancing act between faithful theological and pastoral instruction on the one hand and practical, applied communication on the other. You’ve got to look at the subject from 40,000 feet while keeping your boots firmly planted on the ground.

In Giving Up, I’ve tried to walk this line, outlining generosity as the heart […]

By |2019-01-10T16:50:35-06:00October 17th, 2018|Categories: For Pastors, Generosity|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

10 Ways to End the Year on a Generous Note at Your Church

On this blog, I try to provide tactical advice on growing generosity in the church.

Every church leader knows that giving is especially vital as the year winds to a close.

(To learn 3 things from your yearly church budget shortfall, click here.)

The end may be nigh upon us, but there is no need to feel like you are scrambling to […]

By |2019-01-10T16:50:36-06:00October 15th, 2018|Categories: For Pastors, Generosity|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments

Three Thoughts About That Church Budget Shortfall

I regularly visit churches around the country and about this time of year, a new, semi-liturgical ceremony begins around the church budget. (I participated in it myself during my three decades in ministry. It became something totally normal for me; it’s only now that I’m in the pews most Sundays that I’ve realized how odd this little ritual is.)

It usually begins […]

By |2019-01-10T16:50:42-06:00October 10th, 2018|Categories: For Pastors, Generosity|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments

Build Your Generosity and Stewardship Emphasis This Fall

Pastors, it’s not too late to plan an emphasis on stewardship and generosity this fall. But it is almost too late.

Leading a church in this area takes intentionality and courage. Some pastors have such an allergy to the topic of giving that they don’t bring it up until it’s too late. Waiting until the end-of-the-year […]

By |2019-01-10T16:50:47-06:00September 6th, 2018|Categories: For Pastors, Generosity, Leadership|Tags: , , , , , , |1 Comment

Scared to Talk about Stewardship? Read this Series

Pastors and church leaders, if you’re scared or anxious about bringing up the topic of stewardship and giving with your churches, I’d like to draw your attention to the following series by David Roseberry of LeaderWorks.

Stewardship, Giving, and the Third Rail

Stewardship is extremely important, yet often extremely uncomfortable to talk about in the church! David addresses some […]

By |2019-01-08T17:26:54-06:00September 2nd, 2018|Categories: For Pastors, Generosity, Miscellaneous|Tags: , , |2 Comments

Funny You Said That: Stewardship and Humor (Giving, Part 3)

From LeaderWorks: helping leaders do their work.

Normally, you wouldn’t find a blog post on humor mentioned in a series on Stewardship, Giving, and Generosity. The topic of stewardship and giving is not an easy one to speak about. It makes some people feel very uncomfortable. Both speaker and listener share long moments of angst when the topic is raised […]

By |2019-01-10T16:50:52-06:00August 31st, 2018|Categories: For Pastors, Generosity, Preaching|Tags: , , , |2 Comments

10 Habits for a Generous Church (Giving, Part 2)

From LeaderWorks: helping leaders do their work.

As I wrote in part one of this series, a church without adequate resources will soon see their visions become vapors. Money feeds momentum. It is a sign of commitment, involvement, trust, hope, and even worship unto the Lord! It is good to talk about!

That is why developing a culture […]

By |2019-01-10T16:50:54-06:00August 31st, 2018|Categories: For Pastors, Generosity|Tags: , , , , |1 Comment

Stewardship, Giving, and the Third Rail (Giving, Part 1)

From LeaderWorks: helping leaders do their work.

A third rail is the high voltage power line that runs along a subway train. It is the one you are warned NOT to touch. It powers the train. But don’t touch it. It makes everything go, but if you touch it, it might kill you. Zap! Shock!

For some congregations, the topics of stewardship […]

By |2019-01-10T16:50:55-06:00August 31st, 2018|Categories: For Pastors, Generosity, Miscellaneous|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Five Elegant Solutions to Grow Generosity

Some of you may know the acryonm KISS. I did not when it was first whispered in my ear by an unknown man about five minutes before my first sermon many years ago. He was a robed lay reader and was seated next to me. The church was filled with the good people of my first curacy in Arizona.  Ken […]

Five Awkward Questions Your Church Needs to Answer (Part Five)

In the last few weeks we have been covering some awkward questions that often stymie leaders in congregations. Either no one thinks to ask the question or no one wants to bring it up. Here’s what we’ve covered so far:

By |2020-10-08T15:47:34-05:00March 19th, 2018|Categories: For Pastors|Tags: , , , , , |0 Comments

Five Awkward Questions Your Church Needs to Answer (Part Three)

The awkward questions are easy to ignore, but leaders can’t shy away from topics that have the potential to cripple ministry if left unaddressed. What goes unspoken can create divisions and spread distrust.

Read Part Two

If you haven’t caught up, here’s what we’ve discussed:

  • In the first post, I asked […]

It Ain’t Over…Yet

by David Roseberry

I have been so grateful for the many people who have responded to the vision of Giving Up.  Several rectors have texted me and told me that the book made a difference in their thinking and in their planning for the last three months of the year. And, thankfully, in the way their church responded.

One […]

Giving Even When You Receive

Last week, I talked about how to encourage generosity at the end of the year by making  Growing generosity is a part of your teaching ministry, and teachers need to be creative. We’ve talked about getting creative by making a Christmas Wish List for your church. It’s a way to engage the people directly with the needs […]

Make a Christmas Wish List for Your Church

We’ve talked a lot about increasing generosity at the end of the year. As we’ve posted elsewhere, the end of the year brings challenges. You’ve got this year’s budget gaps, next year’s budget planning, end-of-the-year appeal letters—it’s a lot. On top of that, Christmas is fast approaching.

There are two temptations during seasons like this in ministry.


I’ve seen […]

House Calls: A Pastor’s Guide to Talking to Donors

It’s the time of year when church leaders are starting to see lots of red—and it isn’t always early Christmas decorations! Lots of churches have deficits they need to close by year’s end. I have been there many (MANY) times.

Sometimes, these gaps are relatively small. All you need is to remember to ‘double December’ and take a breath. (If you […]

Is Fundraising Really That Hard? #GivingTuesday

In 2012, in response to so-called consumer holidays ‘Black Friday’ and ‘Cyber Monday’, New York’s 92nd Street Y and the United Nations Foundation partnered to create Giving Tuesday. This November 28, organizations, influencers, and individuals will reach out across their platforms to encourage people to give generously to worthy causes.

As I wrote […]

LeaderWorks Update

Here’s a round-up of the latest news and resources from LeaderWorks:

By |2019-01-10T16:52:24-06:00November 13th, 2017|Categories: For Pastors, Generosity|Tags: , , |0 Comments

What’s Wrong With My Letter?

Appeal Letter Writing an Appeal Letter is about saying “will you” and then “thank you”.

A few years ago I had to do what every Rector or Sr. Pastor should do about this time of year: write a year-end appeal letter. (If you need convincing that you should, read here.)

My church was […]

Hack Next Year’s Budget

It is that time of year again. Budget time! As pastors, leaders, vestries, and boards are wringing their hands about the close of this year, plans for next year are being drawn up.

Over the years I developed a few ‘hacks’ for church leaders. I’ve collected a few […]