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COMPASS Programs Expand to Canada

The Church of the Nazarene has received a second grant of $1,000,000 USD1 as part of Lilly Endowment Inc.'s “National Initiative to Address Economic Challenges Facing Pastoral Leaders2.

The first Lilly Endowment grant established the Church of the Nazarene’s COMPASS Initiative, which launched in June 2017, along with a Ministerial Excellence Fund (MEF) to provide direct relief to participating ministers. To date, over 125 US ministers have participated in the COMPASS Initiative programs, representing 51 US districts. Of the $500,000 available in the MEF, over $460,000 has been disbursed or promised to these ministers as matching grants. This COMPASS Initiative MEF matches the Ministerial Excellence Fund participation of local churches for their minister, making a total of more than $900,000 available to these ministers for debt reduction and/or retirement savings. 

"When we married, both of us had significant debt and assumed it would just be a way of life. However, in our learning this past year, we've found that it doesn't have to be this way…There is a light at the end of the tunnel." - Pastor Joe

The second Lilly Endowment grant will enable the COMPASS Initiative to move into Phase II and continue offering the same programs, matching grants, and learning resources in the US, as well as extending the initiative to our ministers and churches in Canada. The programs include:

  1. The COMPASS Journey, a one-year program designed to increase financial literacy and provide up to $5,000 in a matching grants to ministers for debt reduction and/or retirement readiness. 
  2. The COMPASS Quest, a six-month personal finance online program with a matching grant of up to $1,000. 
  3. True North Retreat, an intensive weekend of personal budgeting and money management for pastors and spouses.

"Going through this has transformed how we spend our money and will have a significant impact on our future." – Pastor Phil

As part of Phase I, the COMPASS Initiative offered five True North Retreats strategically located across the US, reaching 32 clergy couples from 19 districts. In Phase II, True North Retreats will be made available to more of our ministers on more districts. The COMPASS Initiative staff will present a Pre-Conference Workshop at each of the six PALCONs, in 2020, to train and equip districts on how to provide a True North Retreat for the ministers of their districts. Plans also include a True North Retreat in Spanish for our Hispanic ministers. 

“Before, I felt like I was limited when it came to personal and church finances. Through this journey, I know we are going in the right direction and feel we now have a strong foundation.” – Pastor Paul

Join us in celebrating this second grant, as it provides an amazing opportunity for 150 or more of our ministers to participate in the COMPASS programs and matching grants. The COMPASS Initiative programs, resources, information and testimonials are located at


1All dollar figures within this article are reported in USD.
2Lilly Endowment Inc. is an Indianapolis-based private philanthropic foundation created in 1937 by three members of the Lilly family - J.K. Lilly Sr. and sons J.K. Jr. and Eli - through gifts of stock in their pharmaceutical business, Eli Lilly & Company. The Endowment exists to support the causes of religion, education and community development. Lilly Endowment's religion grant making is designed to deepen and enrich the religious lives of American Christians. It does this largely through initiatives to enhance and sustain the quality of ministry in American congregations and parishes. The Lilly Endowment “National Initiative to Address Economic Challenges Facing Pastoral Leaders” supports 31 Christian denominations or judicatories across the US as they address the financial and economic struggles that can impair the ability of pastors to lead congregations effectively.