Reading time: two minutes. Church work couples need to have a conversation about church work salaries as early in their marriage as possible; hopefully right around the same time as the conversation that begins, “Will you marry me?” Nobody gets rich in this business. Lutheran educators will almost always earn significantly less than their public school peers. Small town and rural pastors face many financial challenges and few pastors anywhere will be paid in measure with their education and effort, their long hours and sacrifice. In order to stay in ministry for the long haul, it’s important for couples to come to grips with this early on and not let these financial realities define them. Here’s what I mean. We live in a culture that, to a great degree, measures a person’s worth and success by their income. A quarterback recently signed a $134,000,000 contract. That’s what the culture values. We, on the other hand, know our value by the actual price tag that is required to purchase a child of God back from death and the devil: the precious blood of Jesus Christ. Once again, this is where Baptismal Wellbeing comes into play. Am I rich? Yes, I am! I’m a child of The King, an heir of His treasures and provided for beyond measure! The financial realities of life don’t disappear. For a long and fruitful life in ministry, we’ve got to make wise decisions about the future by spending carefully and planning wisely. The irony here is that our decades long approach toward financial planning requires a “daily bread” attitude. Jesus taught us to ask our Gracious Father for the provision of just one day at a time, trusting in His faithfulness. Our best response to the faithfulness of the Father is faithfulness of our own, trusting enough to be generous in kind, according to the measure of our capacity, sharing with others who are in need (Ephesians 4:28). In the meantime, we at Grace Place Wellness will continue in our partnership with your District President to lobby congregations, whenever we can, to honor their church workers with a wage aligned with district salary guidelines. And in case no one has said it in a while, thank you for your faithful service in the Lord’s kingdom. There’s not enough gold or silver on earth to buy what you offer for free to the people you serve! Thanks for reading.