Pastors Facing Inflation, Iranian Christians & Encourage Your Pastor
Individuals aren’t the only ones facing consequences of inflation and other negative economic factors in the U.S., as many pastors say their churches are being harmed as well. Nathan Rostampour received yet another patchy correspondence today (Oct. 11) from his native Iran, where the internet has been shaky in the wake of protests that have the potential to change a decades-long regime. And, SBC leader Willie McLaurin hopes church members remember that October is Pastor Appreciation Month. In a First-Person piece on Baptist Press, he calls on church members to encourage their pastors.
Individuals aren’t the only ones facing consequences of inflation and other negative economic factors in the U.S., as many pastors say their churches are being harmed as well.
A Lifeway Research study of U.S. Protestant pastors found 52% say the current economy is having a negative impact on their churches.
The economic outlook among pastors has soured more in 2022 than in recent years. Last year, around half of pastors (49%) said the economy was having no impact. Only once in the previous five years, during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, were pastors most likely to be pessimistic about the economic impact on their congregations.
2022 marks the first time since 2016 that more than half of pastors feel the economy is having a negative impact on their churches and the first time since 2012 that fewer than 10% of pastors see the economy as having a positive effect.
Nathan Rostampour received yet another patchy correspondence today (Oct. 11) from his native Iran, where the internet has been shaky in the wake of protests that have the potential to change a decades-long regime.
News of the Iranian protests is only now getting traction with Americans, but for Rostampour and others, it has been more than a month. That’s when Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old from Iran’s Kurdish region, died while being held by the country’s morality police.
“They beat her up and killed her just because she didn’t cover her hair properly,” he said.
That set off a wave of protests, with women publicly burning their hijabs and others doing the same to pictures of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Media reports say at least 185 have been killed, 19 of them minors, with hundreds injured and thousands arrested by police.
The protests started as women supporting other women. But that has changed to become something Rostampour calls “different.”
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SBC leader Willie McLaurin hopes church members remember that October is Pastor Appreciation Month. In a First-Person piece on Baptist Press, he calls on church members to encourage their pastors.
He says one way is through a love offering that is a financial gift in addition to regular salary and wages.
Other ways are through gift cards, special experiences such as sporting or theatrical events, acts of kindness and a ministry of care.
McLaurin hopes church members will care for their pastors not only in October but throughout the year.
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