It is a good idea to empower pastors with financial counseling skills. Many of the people who face severe financial problems end up seeing their pastors, in search of help. Some see the pastors with a view to get direct financial assistance from the pastors (or from church-affiliated charities). Others see the pastors with a view to be assisted in getting divine intervention about the state of their finances. This is because many of the people who face major financial challenges come to believe that their misfortune has spiritual causes. And perhaps that is indeed the case in some of the situations. Either way, the pastors – and Imams, Rabbis and priests — end up having to deal with people who are undergoing financial challenges from time to time. And this is why it is a good idea to empower the pastors with financial counseling skills. Some of the ways in which we can empower the pastors in that way include:
- By incorporating financial counseling in pastoral studies: so this is an question of getting the theological schools to teach future pastors about financial counseling.
- By organizing financial counseling seminars for the pastors: the idea here is to cater for those pastors who went to theological schools before the need to equip pastors with financial counseling skills was discovered.
- By exposing the pastors to financial counseling literature: this is the least we can do, to equip the pastors with financial counseling skills. See, some of the pastors went to college when financial counseling wasn’t part of the curriculum. And they also don’t have time to go for financial counseling seminars. After all, some of them are part-time ministers. This means that they hold other jobs, and only minister on part-time basis. You may, for instance, find a pastor who works for a company like, say, PepsiCo. Therefore anytime he needs some time off, he has to visit the HR portal, at Mypepsico.com, to apply for the same. It may be a tall order to convince such a minister to visit the Mypepsico website to apply for time off to go for financial counseling seminars. But if he is exposed to financial counseling literature, he is likely to pick at least a few of the skills he needs to offer people good financial counsel.