June 15, 2019
Take the survey will be the drumbeat over the next few weeks, including at the Annual Conference, from the Clergy and Church Financial Ministry (C2FM). Chris Bouchard, C2FM Director, hopes to get at least 80 percent of active pastors to complete a brief online questionnaire.
“We are even offering a coffee incentive!” says Bouchard. “The survey data is processed by our team at the University of Missouri to maintain anonymity and to ensure high-quality analysis, so the free Starbucks is a highly scientific bribe!”
C2FM is a program of the Missouri United Methodist Foundation funded by grants from the Lilly Endowment of Indianapolis. “We were delighted and honored to receive a second three-year grant from Lilly this year,” says Foundation President David Atkins. “This allows us to build on the excellent groundwork that Chris and our partners have already created.” C2FM has four focus areas:
- Clergy financial assistance
- Financial coaching
- Financial outreach ministry
Donor gifts have been matched by Lilly funds to make over $750,000 available for the grants in aid to clergy providing debt relief (student, consumer and housing), and addressing healthcare, family crises and retirement issues.
“The survey data helps us better understand what the needs are and how to deliver resources to address those needs,” explains Bouchard. “We are evaluating progress to date and developing plans and programs for the next three years.”
A report published by the Lilly Endowment states that, “Across the country ministers are grappling with financial issues that adversely affect their personal lives and divert attention from their work.” Bouchard takes great solace in the testimonials and thank you notes he receives regularly. “Pastor’s lives have been positively impacted by this program. We just keep trying to do more and do it better.”
Visit the Foundation website: www.mumf.org
to learn more about the project – and if you are a Missouri pastor: Take the survey!