Thrive Financial Initiative

The Wesleyan Church was blessed with a second million-dollar grant from the Lilly Endowment. The program, offered through Education & Clergy Development, is called the Thrive Financial Initiative (TFI) and is designed to help pastors overcome economic challenges that limit ministry effectiveness.

Working together, the pastor and key lay leaders in a local church collaborate to provide extra funds or resources to support the pastor in completing required financial learning journeys that will help the pastor and the local church and receive a matching grant. Any pastor serving in a local church in the denomination can participate. Districts may also create some custom approaches to TFI.

TFI’s aim is to promote thriving clergy, thriving congregations and thriving communities. Here are five steps you need to know to receive a matching grant:

  1. Gather your Thrive Team. A Thrive Team is a pastor and at least two key laity who agree to work together each year to learn more about the economic challenges facing their pastor and to work on financial learning journeys that benefit the pastor and congregation.
  2. Choose Thrive Well-Being Investment. The first requirement for earning a matching grant is for the local church to make a new investment in their pastor’s financial well-being (e.g., help reduce debt, give a raise, larger pension contribution, etc.).
  3. Complete Two Thrive Financial Learning Journeys. The second requirement for earning a matching grant is for the Thrive Team to complete two Financial Learning Journeys. For example, year-one participants complete Ron Blue’s “God Own’s It All” DVD curriculum and “Master Your Money” book.
  4. Submit Thrive Well-Being Report. To receive a matching grant, the Thrive Team must submit a Well-Being Development Report (WDR) by April 30 (near the end of the conference year). The link to the WDR is available in the Thrive Team Resource Center.
  5. Receive Thrive Matching Grant. Thrive Teams that complete all the requirements each year can earn a matching grant for their pastor.

To learn much more, visit the Thrive Financial Intiative website.

Dr. Mark Rennaker’s book, Hope for Pastors: A Collaborative Approach to Clergy Financial Health, helps churches learn how to build a culture of thriving in the local church. Contact The Wesleyan Publishing House for ordering:

Financial contributor: Dr. Mark Rennaker, chair of Department of Leadership Studies, Indiana Wesleyan University.

Executive editor: Russ Gunsalus

Curator of content: Dave Higle