The Parsonage Project

What I’m Doing

I would really appreciate your prayers. Pray that God would give me wisdom and a steady mind. Pray that I will keep my eyes fixed on Jesus, the Author and Finisher of my faith, for stormy waves are trying to distract my focus. Pray for me, if for nothing else, that I will myself remain in constant prayer.

This week the house that we are living in will be listed on the market to be sold, and we are not as ready as we would like to be. On top of that, the house in which we are planning to move is the parsonage of the church where I now pastor – but it is FAR from being ready.

Right now I am having to work a job and pastor a church; record a weekly radio broadcast; record lectures at the seminary; move a lot of stuff into storage; see that a house is ready to be seen by buyers; and oversee the restoration of an old house – a restoration which costs more money than we have and will have to incorporate the expertise of many people. That doesn’t count being a parent and a husband. Can you see why I wanted people to send me guest posts?

That’s why prayer is so important. In James 4:2 we read that we have not because we ask not, so I’m asking – pray for us.

The Parsonage

It is a well-known fact among pastors and their families that parsonages are a mixed blessing. For one thing, when you live in a parsonage (a house owned by a church, but meant to house the pastor), you live in a house that is not your own. Secondly, living in a parsonage usually means that you are not building up any equity or means to move into a normal home. So, what happens is that when the pastor ends up leaving the church where he pastors, if nothing else is done, he and is family are effectively homeless.

But, there are times when a parsonage can be a blessing, like for us, because without it we would have no place to live at this point. Also, the parsonage, if used properly, can be a tool for evangelism and discipleship. The parsonage can also show that the pastor and his family are personally invested in the health of the congregation he shepherds. Therefore, if the church does have a parsonage, it should be well-maintained in order to make full use of its potential.

Unfortunately, the parsonage at the church where I now pastor has fallen into serious disrepair. I am working with different groups and individuals in order to restore the old house, but that will take time, manpower, and a lot of something we (the congregation) don’t have…money. One group of men estimated that it would take $10,000 to make the parsonage livable. On the other hand, I was told by someone else that the costs would be closer to $30,000. And right now this little upstart of a little church only runs around 15 in a decent Sunday!

The Video

Below is a video I made last Sunday. In it I take you through the parsonage and let you see for yourself what needs to be done. Look, Nehemiah rebuilt a wall which his enemies swore would fall down if only a fox pushed against it. Noah built a huge ark with the help of fewer men than volunteers I will have. What needs to be done will get done, but this ship won’t sail without a strong wind of prayer.

If all things were easy and well within our own power, we wouldn’t need God’s help. But, when things seem impossible, we call upon the Lord to do for us what we cannot do (Psalm 57:2), thereby allowing Him to get the glory and praise.

The more impossible the project – even a parsonage project – the more praise, glory, and honor is due our Savior and King.

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7 Comments

Filed under Christian Living, Christian Unity, Church, Prayer, Preaching, Relationships and Family

7 responses to “The Parsonage Project

  1. KIA

    I would always discourage moving into a parsonage. It makes you too dependant on the will of fickle people and more susceptible to becoming a ‘hireling’. Same for not having a job or income source outside of the ‘faithful’ offerings of the same people.
    Maintain a good solid employment independent of the whims of church goers. It’s wisdom from one who has been there.

    • I understand and agree. But fortunately, in this case, the church is starting from the ground floor. The new believers in attendance haven’t yet learned to be fickle 😉

      But honestly, I do work another job. But we cannot afford housing with only what I make since my wife became disabled. There are other factors at play, also. But if I were pastoring a larger congregation that offered a larger compensation package, then I would certainly live somewhere other than a parsonage. If you are unaware, I lived in another one for 8 years, so I know what you’re talking about.

  2. Moving can be stressful, but it is also exciting. I know you have a lot of work ahead of you with moving, fixing up the parsonage, and leading a church. I pray the Lord gives you strength and peace during this time of transition.

  3. Prayers for you and your family.

  4. I have not been here in awhile so I didn’t know you were back in a new pastorate. Congratulations on that. Definitely a fixer-upper you’ve got there. You need a Chip and Joanna Gaines to come help you out! 🙂 What’s the square footage on that place? We just put in central air units in our church. These units do heating as well. They are not window units but something that might be usable in your situation and they are highly efficient. These aren’t exactly what we bought but very similar to the ones we got. Here is a link I found…. http://www.acdirect.com/ductless-air-conditioners Praying for you and this endeavor. Nothing is impossible with Him. Blessings on this new adventure.

  5. Hi, I tried to leave a comment earlier but I don’t know what happened to it.
    Anyways, congratulations on your new pastorate. You are in for another adventure! 🙂

    Concerning the cooling and heating units, our church just recently put in a system and I’m thinking the square footage size of that place this might work for you. In my earlier comment I put a link to a similar site to what we purchased so maybe that is why it didn’t show up…I don’t know but anyways, you might want to look into the ‘ductless air conditioner units” with the capacity to also heat. Just an idea for you.

    Praying for you and your family as you head into this new part of the journey. Blessings –

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