Pastoral Health & Well-Being

What does it look like for a pastor to flourish in their well-being while doing the intense work of ministry?

water drop on green plant

We have heard through the data (from organizations like Barna that study pastors) that ministry leaders are really struggling to stay committed to their calling because they experience so many negative costs that it doesn’t seem possible to be a healthy human being, have a loving family and connected friendships. Burnout and exhaustion are real.

But Vineyard USA believes that there is hope for pastors and their families.

In 2018, VUSA started a project called the Pastor Wellbeing Initiative (funded by a Lilly Endowment grant for pastors sustainability.) Over the last few years, we have provided a 2 year experience of support through mentoring, coaching and spiritual direction to 3 different cohort groups, totaling 110 pastors. We have seen these pastors change their rhythms and priorities in order to get healthier. When the pastor gets healthier, the churches then get healthier as a result!

In 2022, VUSA was invited to apply for a sustainability grant through the ongoing support of the Lilly Endowment and in July of 2023, we received additional funds to continue the good work that was started. We will be rolling out additional learning cohorts to dig a bit deeper in honest evaluation, talking about the health of marriages and families, physical health, and spiritual and emotional vitality. Our regional and area leaders are committed to strengthening our support systems through our local areas and regions as well.

We also are strategically forming partnerships with like-hearted organizations to provide more support and resource to our pastors and their families. Organizations like PastorServe, Soul Shepherding and Leadership Transformations will be aiding in the intentional pastoral work we are engaged in.

Get in touch!

Financial Well-Being

“Surveys have shown the vast majority of clergy, around 9 of 10 Protestant pastors in the US, experience financial stress. Pastors don’t do it for the money, but having enough to retire would be nice.”

Fowler, M. (October 1, 2019.), Christianity Today

VUSA is committed to greater understanding of our pastors financial needs as well as providing places of learning and support. In 2022, we asked our pastors and church staff to participate in a movement wide survey using qualitative and quantitative data. 

We had 365 churches respond (918 pastors/staff with 322 of those being senior/lead pastors.) We discovered that retirement (future planning), budgeting and saving for emergencies were the top 3 issues that concern our Vineyard Ministry leaders. 

Out of this research, VUSA developed an initiative for financial education and support which was funded by the Lilly Endowment which launched its first cohort in Spring of 2023. We will be offering an opportunity for participation in this 2 year learning journey in additional cohorts in 2024.

We are continuing to develop partnerships for financial education, retirement and investment/saving with our ministry partners such as Clergy Advantage and Thrivent Financial for all of our leaders to become confident with their money and future!