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Just Released: 2023 Annual Report // Read Now

Just Released: 2023 Annual Report // Read Now

Heeding the Call: How One Pastor Leveraged Geneva’s Call Package Guidelines

Clay Werner first heard of Geneva (then called PCA RBI) when he became ordained in the PCA in 2006. 

But for years, he only knew of the organization’s retirement services. However, after serving on a presbytery committee that processed pastoral calls and transitions, he became very familiar with the variety of resources Geneva provides. 

Through the years, Clay has sought Geneva’s expertise in several areas: retirement questions, investment questions, packages for staff members, emergency benefits, and counseling needs. 

“They really have more resources than most think and go above and beyond to help out,” he said.

As Clay began to feel called to a new ministry position, he relied heavily on Geneva’s Call Package Guidelines

“What is ultimate is a sense of call to a new ministry,” he said. “However, the call package is very significant. I wanted to make sure not to have the mindset of a ‘hired hand’ (John 10), but I also needed to know that the call would provide adequately for my family’s needs (1 Tim. 5:8).”

At one point, Clay and his family considered a ministry opportunity in a high-cost city. But with expenses including a potential mortgage, regular living costs for a large family, and significant medical bills due to a child’s health condition, the financial strain would have been overwhelming. Ultimately, the call package, though generous, didn’t align with the financial needs of Clay’s family. 

“With our current call, I was grateful for the leadership that came alongside us, assessed our needs, asked where we were on our retirement planning, and then offered a call package. It was adequate and appreciated. They also meet with me annually to assess any changes in our family’s needs.” 

When asked what advice he would give to churches and sessions concerning call packages, Clay encouraged them to leverage Geneva’s helpful staff and Call Package Guidelines:

“I would encourage search committees and sessions to come up with an initial package and then run it by someone at Geneva before actually sending it to a potential candidate. I would also want them to walk through Geneva’s call package guidelines and ask, ‘How can we joyfully and sacrificially give so that our pastor and his family are adequately cared for?’”

He also urged sessions to have open and honest financial discussions with candidates upfront to avoid any possible roadblocks later on. 

For pastors, Clay encouraged them to have a Geneva team member look over a call package and discuss the family’s needs. He urged them to speak honestly and humbly about their financial needs with sessions and search committees. 

“In the end, the financial end of things is important on both sides—for the church and for the pastor being called,” he said. “You want to work on agreement up front so there is no friction right at the beginning of a call over salary or benefits.”

Geneva provides free Call Package Guidelines for Pastors, Churches, and Presbyteries. Download our Call Package Guidelines or schedule a consultation with our team today. 

Geneva Benefits Group serves those who serve others, providing practical support for the financial, physical, and mental wellbeing of people who work in full-time ministry.

Geneva offers preparedness and peace of mind with solutions tailored to the needs of ministry leaders and staff.