ITLOTC 1-24-14

How Much Does A Pastor Really Make? On one of my visits to Facebook world this week I spotted this article, which was posted by my friend.  If you didn’t click the link, the premise/the title is “Why Your Pastor Doesn’t Make Enough Money.”

There’s a checklist in the article that explains why Pastors leave the ministry.   It’s a “hazard” list.  As I went through the list in my head I silently replied “nope” to most of them.  UBC really is a great place work.  I’m not sure, but I think that most of us on staff probably make less than we could elsewhere.  It’s really important that you understand I don’t list that as a complaint or even to try solicit raises for everyone.  Rather I want to point out the powerful pull of the ethos, that I suspect is a big factor in making UBC a place we love to work.

When Dave and Chris cast a vision for the church almost 20 years ago, they did with specific language and ideas that have protected the church all these years.  We  are not a church that argues over carpet colors or choir robes.  Those sorts of things have never been an issue.  Of course the institutional structures that give space for those sorts of arguments come with their own advantages, but again we’ve never been blessed and/or cursed with those issues.  Here’s a succinct way to put it.  If we are going to call a spade a spade, then carpet colors and choir robes are “BS” issues.  I’ll let you decide how to fill out the abbreviation.  UBC is a great place to work because we don’t deal with a lot of BS issues.

Lest I leave the impression that it’s perfect, let me be clear that it is not.  As a staff we’ve had our fair share of arguments and occasionally we receive complaints (usually indirectly) from someone in the congregation who is frustrated.   But I’ve often reflected that the things we fight about are things that are worth fighting about.  They are issues of ecclesiology and theology and the process we use to make decisions and the decisions we come to know matter deeply.

I have a lot of pastor friends who I've heard lament their situations.  I would take my problems over theirs most days.

But there is a better reason that makes pastoring at UBC great.  There is a richer form of intangible currency that ends up in our proverbial pockets every month.

I sometimes reflect on how long I will do what I am doing.  The blessing and curse of what I would refer to as “a call” is that there is part of your decision making that you don’t really think belongs to you.  The conclusion to this journey evades me, but I do know this, every time Lindsay and I have made a major decision in our life there seems to be a transcendent peace that comes with it.  I cannot see the end of my road, but that doesn’t stop from reflecting from the place of telos from time to time.  When I enter that mental space I think about what I might miss most about this job.  What I have discovered has surprised me.

It is the profound privilege of being invited into your suffering.  A lot of jobs have their own perks.  Athletes can compensate friends and family with tickets.  An editor gets to see amazing work before the rest of the world.    A car dealer always has something new to drive.  Teachers get summer (kind of).

The pastor gets invited into the recesses of the human heart.

And why should that be such a gift?

Philip Yancey writes this, “For some time I accompanied a friend to a life-threatening-illness support group, which met monthly in a hospital waiting room.  I cannot say I “enjoyed” those meetings, yet every month, walking home, I had the sense that the evening was one of the most meaningful I had spent.  We skipped trivialities and faced into the issues most urgent to everyone in the room—death and life, and how best to spend what time remained.”

Every time someone walks into my office with their pain in tow I’m floored that they have invited me to share it with them.  About a month ago someone came into to confess that he and his wife had a miscarriage.  I did what I always do.  I listened, talked without trying to say more than I actually know, and prayed and when they left I think I probably felt more ministered to by their invitation to care than they did by the care I gave.

In that moment, and in so many like it, I did not doubt that my work had immense meaning.  I will never get over that.

Empty Nester and Almost Empty Nesters

Are your kids way past Sponge Bob and Dora?  Do you pay more for car insurance than health insurance?  Do folks ask if you qualify for the senior citizen discount?  If so you might be eligible to be part of empty nester and almost empty nester group.

The next event will be dinner.  It held on Friday, February 14th at 6:30 in the home of Jim & Mindy Wren.  Their address is 1700 Royal Oaks Drive, Waco, Texas 76710.

Please RSVP (call or text) to Linda Taft if you plan to attend, 254 717 8191.


Meet The Leadership Team

Chair: Jana Parker

Kristin Dodson

Kaley Eggers

David Wilhite

Austin Tiffany

Byron Roldan

Teri Walter

Meet Kaley Eggers

Vocation (could be your job or something you love doing that you believe you were made for):   I'm a social worker- the site coordinator for Communities In Schools at Connally Elementary School. It's sort of complicated to explain, but essentially I get to provide a wide variety of services to help support the students and families at my school. It's pretty hectic, but I feel very honored to have the opportunity to be a dependable, encouraging and loving presence in the lives of these kids.

Favorite Movie: This is a really tough question. I've been really into documentaries lately (A Place at the Table and Miss Representation are excellent and available on Netflix if you're interested), but I think if I had to pick one all-time favorite it would be Baby Mama. I probably quote this film at least once a day. Seriously. You just can't beat the combination of Amy Poehler and Tina Fey.

Best Restaurant in Waco: Once again- really tough question. I love D's Mediterranean Grill, but I think Homestead Heritage would probably win as my favorite. (Or Homestead Cafe? I'm not sure what the actual restaurant is called?)

Bible verse/chapter/book that is meaningful for you: Two come quickly to mind. OT: Isaiah 61:1-3 and Mark 5:35-42. I feel very strongly connected to passionate calling described in the Isaiah verses. If someone were to ask me why I became a social worker, the simplest way for me to respond would be to quote this section of Scripture. That passage in Mark is the story of Jesus healing Jairus' daughter. To me, these verses communicate so much about who Christ is and the immense hope we have in him.

Best Television Show: Parks and Recreation.

Favorite Holiday:  Toss up between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Something we might not know about you: In high school I went through a really serious Lord of the Rings phase. Fact: I dressed up as an elf when I went to see The Two Towers in theaters. Follow-up fact: It was not the midnight showing. It was probably 2 weeks after the premiere. Obviously my coolness peaked in high school.

Hobby:  Ukulele-playing. Crafting. Baking. Hanging with my dog, RG IV.


Work Is Worship


Coffee: Emily Driscoll and Michael Scott

Coffee Clean Up: Kara Edmondson, Jacob Robinson and Byron Roldon

Greeters: Dan Padgett and Jeff Latham


  • Sunday Sermon Text: 1 Corinthians 1:10-17
  • Love-Love Feast: February 16th at 6:00 P.M.
  • The Culture Sunday School class has posted an article on our website.  Even if you don’t go to that class, Toph is encouraging folks to read the article and give feedback.  Read it here.   Comment on the Facebook thread on the UBC Facebook page.


Do you have an Emergency?  Do you Need to talk to a Pastor?

254 366 9779