I don’t want to burden my congregation.”
“I’m not ready to invite other people into my financial world.”
“I’m not sure our leaders want to talk about pastoral finances”
Because pastors care deeply about their congregations, it can be difficult to allow their congregations to care for them. And yet for Pastor Frankie Rodriguez–senior Pastor of Iglesia Wesleyana El Camino in Greenville, South Carolina, the Thrive Financial Initiative (TFI) offered a chance for vulnerability that enriched his relationship to his congregation.
When Rodriguez heard of TFI, he was unsure if he would make it through the application process. But once he was accepted into the program, he worked together with his “Thrive Team” (a few lay leaders from his congregation who committed to helping Rodriguez develop and achieve goals for well-being) through the financial stewardship resources, and opened up about the goals his family was striving toward, specifically around retirement and savings.
“The church contributed to our pension fund; and that was both for me and for my associate pastor,” Rodriguez remembered. But the financial wellness went beyond only retirement. “My family and I lowered our debt and have been able to grow our savings, and the pension plan stabilized it even more. Application of the principles was so good for us.”
The same principles have expanded outside the Rodriguez family’s personal finances, into the congregation’s finances.By using the TFI financial education, Iglesia Wesleyana La Camino has reduced their debt and increased their savings, even while also contributing to pastoral pensions and educating their congregation about financial stewardship.
“I have a really good relationship with our church,” reflected Rodriguez. “But this process has helped us make this relationship stronger. To see those who are on our leadership team and our staff and our board ask, ‘Are you able to sustain yourself with what we’re paying you?’ ‘Are you planning for your future and finances?’ To know this is an aspect they care about and it’s not taboo, but are there to support me as a pastor, that’s an amazing thing that’s happened in this journey.”
For more information on how you might benefit through TFI, click here.