This is part of a blog series that has 30 practical tips for the pastor looking to start or restart well. You can get the entire series as a Kindle book. The landing page will be updated with each new post.
Bible College and Seminary are great for a lot of things. In my experience, important skills you need to survive in an office like yearly budgets, business plans, and understanding what a housing allowance is are not some of those things.
I love the education I received but I am embarrassingly lost every spring when I try to do my taxes and my ministry budgets always need to be revised.
In those first 30 days someone who doesn’t have a seminary degree is going to start talking to you about things that impact your paycheck and how many days you get off for the year. It will be tempting to not ask questions because you are intimidated or because of some silly pride that prevents leaders from asking questions. You can go that route and miss out on some deserved benefits or you can ask some honest questions and get clarity.
I can’t say that I understand it all, but I understand enough to know what I should leave to professionals and what I really need to pay attention to. However the best time to ask questions about your taxes is in those first 30 days and not on April 12th.
In general churches are also really bad about clarifying time off. Maybe it makes you uncomfortable to have conversations about what the difference is between a sick day and a day off is. You will miss work for other ministry like a conference or a mission trip, is that considered a vacation day? May not seem like a big deal now, but when you are burnt out after a crazy stretch and you need a day to sit in front of the TV and drool you will be thankful you have some clarity.