Bless & Serve Pastors
“Elders who are leading well should be admired and valued. Double up on the honor shown them; care for them well - especially those constantly and consistently teaching the word and preaching.”
— 1 Timothy 5:17 The Voice
Acknowledging, the charge in 1 Timothy 5:17 and recognizing the need of many pastors who have faithfully served for many years and in many cases with very little financial security to rely on in retirement. Our mission is to bless and serve retired or disabled pastors, their spouses, or widows who have faithfully served our Heavenly Father and His flock, by providing financial assistance when a medical crisis occurs and creates a hardship.
The Shepherd’s Fund was founded to help retired or disabled pastors, their spouses, or widows with a limited income, and who have health issues for which they can’t afford treatment or the financial impact it may have on their ability to provide for themselves.
Our vision is also to be a catalyst for generosity by inviting givers to be a part of caring for God’s shepherds.
Identifying the Need
The majority of pastors serve small churches and do not have substantial salaries, often working second jobs to supplement their income. As a result, they often are not able to set aside an appropriate sum of money for retirement and when a medical crisis occurs this puts them in a financial crisis as well.
A retired pastor and their spouse can qualify for a one time grant up to $10,000 each or $20,000 total. They may reapply in subsequent years, especially if they have a chronic ongoing medical condition.
Grants may also be given to disabled pastors and their spouses, or widows of pastors. Grants may also be given to retired/disabled pastors that are legal custodians for their adult children that may have a disability from childhood.
Grants may also be given to retired/disabled pastors that are legal custodians for their grandchildren that may have a medical crisis or disability, regardless
The Benefits or Alumni Office or other Denominational Leader identifies a retired/disabled pastor, spouse or widow with a financial need arising out of a major medical crisis. The Benefits/Alumni Office or Denominational Leaders provides the link to The Shepherd’s Fund website to the pastor or appropriate family member. The retiree, or family member can begin the online application (see button below). Once the application is submitted, the Benefits/Alumni Office Contact verifies that the retiree is in good standing with their appropriate denomination.
The Shepherd’s Fund will review the application and if approved will forward it to Helping Hands for screening.
3. DUE DILIGENCE
Helping Hands receives the application from The Shepherd’s Fund and will begin due diligence, validating the medical need of the minister, spouse or widow and the financial capacity to cover medical expenses. The information requested generally consists of: an income/expense form, a copy of most recent tax return and a letter from the attending physician stating current condition, treatment and prognosis
Helping Hands notifies The Shepherd’s Fund of the qualified project and recommended amount then opens the project for funding. The Shepherd’s Fund then approves the project funding amount.
Upon approval/denial Helping Hands will communicate with retiree/family and payee (physician, hospital, mortgage co, utility, hotel, airline, etc.) and issue the grant, most often paying costs directly.
6. FOLLOW UP
Helping Hands will update The Shepherd’s Fund on the status of active grants and any needs or issues that arise. The Shepherd’s Fund will communicate the status of applicants to the appropriate Benefits, Alumni or Denominational contact to keep them apprised and seek help in gathering information from the retiree, or their family, if needed.
* NOTE: YOU WILL NEED TO CREATE AN ACCOUNT AND USE THE
CODE PROVIDED BY YOUR BENEFITS OR ALUMNI OFFICE CONTACT.
WE PREFER YOU COMPLETE THE ONLINE APPLICATION - ABOVE - HOWEVER, IF YOU ARE UNABLE TO COMPLETE THE ONLINE APPLICATION, YOU MAY CONTACT YOUR CONFERENCE BENEFITS OFFICE, ALUMNI CONTACT OR DENOMINATIONAL LEADER FOR ASSISTANCE OR A PAPER APPLICATION.
“We recognize this relief as truly a gift from God through his servants who joyfully accept that they have been blessed to be a blessing.”
“It has been a joy [to] rediscover the sounds she had been missing, from singing birds and ticking clocks to the quiet little jokes that families love to share.”
“I cannot tell you how much this grant means to me and my family. The very idea that the fund would continue to pay bills after he went home to be with the Lord is more than we could have imagined.”
Quote Source / The Shepherd’s Fund