New research shows that most pastors who serve small evangelical churches face financial hardships and many are reluctant to open up about their struggles.
The National Association of Evangelicals survey, conducted by Grey Matter Research last July interviewed more than 4000 pastors and found that most face severe financial troubles as they struggle with expenses and debt and don’t earn enough to secure long-term financial stability.
NAE President Leith Anderson said in a statement, “The vast majority of pastors do not have their own radio or TV show, robust church staff, or megachurch attendance. Rather, they faithfully serve in small churches and face financial challenges stemming from student debt, low salaries and medical expenses. And sadly, they often feel they have no one to turn to for help.”
Among the pastors surveyed, 80 percent said they serve in congregations that have fewer than 200 members, while 55 percent have less than 100 members in their church.
Over half of the pastors said they serve in churches that have less than $125,000 in their annual budgets and half said they are paid less than $50,000 per year.
Meanwhile, 60 percent said that they don’t receive retirement or health benefits from their churches, 29 percent said they have no money in personal savings, while 39 percent of pastors said they have less than $10,000 saved up.