A Grant Received
In 2016, the Church of the Nazarene received a $1 million grant from the Lilly Endowment, Inc.’s National Initiative to Address the Economic Challenges Facing Pastoral Leaders. With this grant the Church of the Nazarene has created The COMPASS Initiative (a three-year initiative) to address the top seven financial challenges that Nazarene pastors are facing in the U.S.
The Top 7 Financial Challenges of U.S. Nazarene Pastors
1. High levels of student debt from ministerial preparation
2. Excessive consumer debt and insufficient savings
3. Lack of retirement readiness
4. Communication barriers between clergy & spouse and clergy & lay leaders, regarding financial issues
5. Need for effective strategies to teach biblical financial management in the local church
6. Difficulty accessing financial management tools
7. Insufficient training and learning opportunities for the effective use of financial management tools
The COMPASS Initiative has developed a two-prong approach to address these challenges.
First, the Financial Literacy, Management and Well-Being program seeks to educate and equip our ministers and lay leaders in issues of personal finance, church finance, retirement, pastoral compensation, and communication regarding finances. This will be done through the COMPASS Journey, an individualized yearlong process of assistance, education and supportive accountability. Some of those who qualify for the COMPASS Journey will also be invited to participate in a COMPASS True North Retreat, an intensive weekend for the pastor and spouse to receive extensive training, intervention, and financial planning. Any minister or lay leader (regardless of whether or not they are participants in the COMPASS Journey) will have access to the COMPASS Academy, an organized collection of resources for excellent biblical financial management and stewardship located on The COMPASS Initiative website. The COMPASS Quest is two 6-month online courses to improve the financial health of pastors and their churches, in partnership with the National Association of Evangelicals.
The second prong of The COMPASS Initiative is the establishment of a Ministerial Excellence Fund. This fund provides financial grants to senior pastors and full-time associates with at least a district license, serving in a U.S. Church of the Nazarene, who meet certain qualifications, and complete the COMPASS Journey or the COMPASS Quest Personal Finances course.
The Ministerial Excellence Fund will offer three programs: Student Debt Relief, Personal Debt Relief, and Retirement Readiness. The grants awarded in these three areas will be matched by the minister's local church and disbursed upon the minister's completion of the COMPASS Journey.
Director - Dr. Stephen L. Borger
Assistant Director - Rev. Bonnie S. Beam
Steering Committee - Dr. David Wilson, Dr. Stan Rodes, and Dr. Cort Miller