The story of how The Pastor’s Wallet, a personal finance blog for pastors, came to be; from my childhood career aspirations to discovering the profession of financial planning and deciding who I would most like to serve.
To explain how The Pastor’s Wallet came to be, first I need to give you a little bit of my own personal history.
My Path To Career Ambitions
I have an amazing mom. In fact, she is so great that growing up I had no other ambition but to be a mom just like her. It wasn’t until I became a mom myself that I developed any sort of career ambitions.
By the time my son was 9 months old, I was thinking, “This is not enough! I have to do more than this. I need to use my brain!” And so I set about to discover how.
While my son was young, I got into the habit of listening to Dave Ramsey’s radio show to stem the tide of social isolation (babies aren’t the best conversationalists). When I started I knew nothing of finance. All I knew was to work hard and save harder, because money is important and some day you’ll need it. It wasn’t much, but it was a great place to start.
Discovering Personal Finance & Financial Planning
The more I learned about personal finance, the more I wanted to know and wished I had learned it sooner. At one point I decided that I want to be the person that my friends come to when they need help with their money. I want to be able to help people with this immensely important aspect of life that none of us are taught about.
I began to research how to equip myself to do just that and discovered that there is an entire profession out there that helps people manage their money. As a financial coach or planner, I could make a career out of helping people figure out the financial side of life. I was sold.
However, I couldn’t just run out and start a career. By that time I had a baby and a toddler and I have vowed to always keep my family first before career or any other personal aspirations. All I could do was learn as much as I could, listening to podcasts while doing dishes and mowing the lawn and reading as much as possible. And so I have been educating myself.
My Start In The World Of Finance
In the fall of 2015, I was discussing my interest in financial planning with a childhood friend that I had recently reconnected with. Lo and behold, she had just started her own marketing firm for financial planners. She offered me the opportunity to write blog posts for financial advisors for her firm. I have been writing for her ever since and loving it.
After several months of writing articles for high caliber professionals and their wealthy clients it occurred to me, “If they will pay me well for doing this, maybe I’m good enough to offer something to the normal people who can’t afford these advisors.” Someday I want to be a professional just like them, but why shouldn’t I start helping people now, in my own small way?
Choosing A Focus
I decided to use my rapidly accumulating knowledge and love of writing to start a blog. But who should the blog be for? One thing that is repeated over and again in the podcasts I listen to for financial planners is the importance of developing a niche market and becoming a specialist.
I believe that God wants me to become a specialist in personal finance for pastors. I think it was God’s idea because the first time I thought of it I completely wrote it off and moved on. It wasn’t until several months later that the idea came back to me and stuck. Instead of all of the arguments against it that I previously had, I began to think it was a good idea. To me that looks strangely like God’s fingerprints all over it.
Why Helping Pastors Is A Good Idea
I do think it’s a good idea, but not from a business perspective. In the financial planning world, the more money your clients have, the more money you get. Fees are often a percentage of the money that you manage for your clients. Everyone wants to serve the rich. Most of them have minimums of at least $50,000 (some a lot more!) of investable assets in order to even be able to work with them.
Most pastors don’t make much and don’t have a whole lot saved to invest either. Why should I base my entire career on a niche market that shows no signs of profitability? God. He knows what he’s up to and I trust him. My husband makes enough to support our family, so I have the freedom to follow God instead of the money.
Pastors Live As Examples
I think helping pastors is a good idea because they need it. Frankly, we all need it. However, pastors have to live their lives in the public eye in a way the rest of us don’t. You pastors have whole congregations looking to you as examples and watching every move you make. You probably feel as if you’re living under a microscope at times.
Pastors Have Limited Resources
Your incomes are limited, too. No matter how hard you work or how capable you are you are never going to make the kind of salary you could in the business world. A lot of the pastors I know could easily be earning twice as much outside of the church. But God didn’t call you to that, so you have to be extra diligent with what you do have.
Pastors Have Powerful Influence
You also have great influence. I believe that I can help exponentially greater amounts of people by serving pastors than anyone else. This is my version of the common proverb:
Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day;
Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime;
Teach a pastor to fish and you feed the whole village for generations to come.
Isn’t it true? Everything you have you pour out to the people you are pastoring. No blessing or useful knowledge comes to you that you do not pass on and bless someone else with.
Pastors Are Fun To Work With
Finally, I think helping pastors is a good idea because I like working with pastors. I spent 4 ½ years on staff at my church, working with a large team of pastors and as a personal assistant to three of them. I have seen behind the scenes; the good, the bad, and the ugly. I know what pastors are really like. And I can honestly say that after my years at the church I have more respect for every single one of the pastors there than I did before. I even got laid off, but they did it with love and out of a responsibility to be wise stewards of the church’s resources. I’m proud to be a part of my church and be under the leadership that I am.
I know that my church is not unique. There are a lot of awesome pastors out there. You pour out your lives for your families and churches, so I want to serve you in return. You are busy enough that you don’t have time to become financial experts. Let me do that for you. Just like Aaron and Hur supported Moses’ hands in order to defeat the Amalekites, I want to support you in your financial journey. Let The Pastor’s Wallet be the place that you come for the knowledge that you need to master your finances once and for all.
Now it’s your turn. Please tell me in the comments:
Do you feel confident in your financial knowledge? Do you feel comfortable when members of your congregation ask you for financial advice? What areas of personal finance do you struggle with or wish you were more knowledgeable about?