Resiliency and Relief in Church Planting: One Family’s Story

Planting a church requires a lot of resiliency and vulnerability. 

  • You have to ask people for money to support the effort. 
  • You have to ask friends to become volunteers and leaders.
  • You have to invite community members to become first-time visitors.
  • You have to ask building owners for permission to use their facility.

Because there’s a lot of asking, there’s often a lot of rejection. Planting a church isn’t for the faint of heart. Buck and Katelyn Rogers followed God’s call to plant a church outside Atlanta in 2020. Though God provided for them in extraordinary ways as they transitioned into planting, they realized their fundraising efforts were coming up short of their budgeted goals. As they were taking steps of faith, they also weren’t sure how their needs were going to be met. The only way to adjust their budget and continue forward was to forego health insurance. As parents to five children, they faced significant risks if they had a lapse in coverage. The feelings of uncertainty intensified and multiplied. 

As they prayerfully considered their options, Katelyn remembered the Ministerial Relief Fund at Geneva Benefits Group. They weren’t sure if their situation would qualify for financial assistance but they were certain that they had to at least inquire. Katelyn told Buck, “You should talk to Relief! They help people between calls that need help with their medical insurance or whatever it may be at the time.” Geneva team members, many who are not only financial planners but former pastors themselves, sat down with the Rogers to understand their unique financial situation and how Geneva could help. The team agreed to pay the Rogers’ insurance premiums for six months, so they could center their efforts on laying the groundwork for the ministry. The Relief Fund served as a stabilizing force. The Rogers were able to focus on gathering their core group with the peace of mind that they and their children could continue receiving routine medical care.

Transitions are always stress-filled moments in life, whether you are moving to a different city or starting a new job. For the Rogers and church planters like them, there are multiple layers of stress involved with launching a new congregation. But they accepted this call because they believed the Braselton community needs a church where the gospel is proclaimed and God’s people are gathered for worship and service.

Buck Rogers knows what it is like to gather a core group, assemble a leadership team, and depend on volunteers in order to advance a ministry. It was a skill he learned while serving with Reformed University Fellowship at Mercer University in Macon. Katelyn’s life was also greatly impacted by the ministry of RUF during her college years. When they met and married, they wanted to serve alongside each other in seeing the gospel extended in northeast suburbs of Atlanta where they settled.  Today, Christ the King in Braselton is a growing congregation that meets weekly for worship, offers  community groups, has 100 folks in discipleship groups, and is actively engaged in the local community. The Relief Fund doesn’t merely send checks. Rather, it makes it possible for ministry families like the Rogers to continue the work God has called them to do.

The Relief Fund doesn’t merely send checks. Rather, it makes it possible for ministry families like the Rogers to continue the work God has called them to do.

The Relief Fund not only provides financial assistance in moments of tragedy (ex: death of a spouse or severe financial hardship), they also provide financial assistance in moments of transition. It is common for the Relief Fund to come alongside pastors between calls or other situations requiring temporary assistance, especially when it involves continuing health insurance coverage. As Teaching Elder Buck Rogers noted, “It blew my mind because I had no idea that this was a possibility!”

“It was so kind and generous to receive that help knowing that there are no strings attached. It was a physical manifestation of God’s overarching care for us even in that time of transition.”

Your gifts to the Geneva Relief Fund provides direct financial assistance to ministry staff and their families experiencing financial distress, whether for a widow, a retired PCA pastor,  or a church planter. The Rogers’ are so grateful to the supporters of the Relief Fund. “Relief’s assistance was so helpful to us. It was a vulnerable time in our life. We are just very, very grateful for it.”

About Ministerial Relief  In 1973, the first General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of America (PCA) established a committee to care not only for ministry workers at that time but for the future widows of pastors. The Relief Fund is 100% funded through generosity of individuals and PCA churches. Learn more and give at genevabenefits.org/relief.

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.