You may remember the story of Reverend Shim and the Korean Central Presbyterian Church (KCPC) in Cincinnati. Rev. Shim arrived to pastor the fragile church in 2018 and had just begun to see his revitalization efforts come to fruition when the COVID-19 pandemic hit.
Due to the financial impact across the church and its congregants, giving decreased and Rev. Shim’s family no longer had an income to make it through the month. He then decided to reach out to PCA Ministerial Relief, a ministry of compassion to Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) pastors and their families, administered through PCA Retirement & Benefits. RBI provided necessary support for Rev. Shim’s household expenses and healthcare premiums, allowing the Shim family to continue pastoring KCPC.
The impact of the financial assistance from Ministerial Relief, according to Shim, extended much further beyond its fiscal benefits. He shared, “[our church] experienced loneliness in many moments, especially during the financial crisis under COVID-19. But thanks to RBI’s hands reaching out to us, we realized that we are not alone. We were inspired and able to gain new strength to endure the season with hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.”
After six months of online services, KCPC was able to secure a space for in-person service while social distancing. At the onset of the pandemic, they were a small mission church with nine families. Since the return of in-person service three more families have joined the congregation, with one family confessing faith in Christ for the first time. “Had it not been for RBI’s help,” says Rev. Shim, “we would not have met and made disciples of them.”
Creating a Legacy of Giving
As the church’s finances began to recover, the congregation decided they would like to help other PCA churches facing the same difficulties that KCPC overcame. Over the span of two weeks, the church raised a significant sum that was then donated to the Look After Initiative of the Ministerial Relief Fund.
“When I heard that KCPC was saving to make a donation to Ministerial Relief I was reminded of the Bible story of the widow’s offering,” shared RBI Financial Planning Advisor Rev. Paul Chi. “They did not give out of abundance but gave sacrificially and joyfully, as we are all called to do.”
Reverend Shim now seeks to advocate for churches without a session or trusted session member, helping the churches stay on top of the pastor’s financial needs and connecting them to vital resources like RBI.
Supporting Ministerial Relief
As the past year has highlighted, we have no foresight into the obstacles and unanticipated needs our churches may face. Ministerial Relief has proven to be a crucial resource in these situations. Visit our website to learn more about how we help and consider making a gift to help support, stabilize, and grow churches and ministers like KCPC and Reverend Shim.
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.