The Lilly Endowment Inc. has invited the Evangelical Covenant Church to participate in a unique matching grant to enhance and expand the Covenant Financial Leadership Initiative that provides proactive assistance to pastors, their families, and churches.
“This is the first time Lilly has had a Phase III with its grant program. We were one of the few who had the opportunity to apply for it,” says Marti Burger, director of vocational innovation for the Develop Leaders mission priority. “The Covenant has already received a grant of $250,000. If we raise another $250,000, Lilly will match that amount to bring the total grant to $750,000.”
The Covenant Financial Leadership Initiative (CFLI) seeks to cultivate a culture of financial excellence as pastors focus on their own and their congregation’s financial health. Covenant pastors gather in cohorts to improve their financial stability and confidence in financial leadership. These cohorts provide support in the pursuit of financial resilience and a path out of debt and financial distress. In turn, their fiscal leadership of the churches they serve can be transformed.
The Covenant Financial Leadership Initiative seeks to cultivate a culture of financial excellence as pastors focus on their own and their congregation’s financial health.
“I am excited to see the great impact this coaching has provided for pastors who are enrolled in this initiative,” says Solomon Evangelista, a CFLI coach. “Coming from a 28-year career as a licensed advisor in the financial industry and providing financial literacy for over 7,000 clients nationwide, I’ve never seen a program that is so focused on helping pastors achieve their financial goals while providing an approach that will guide them step by step with continuing support from a dedicated coach. The Jump Start Program uses biblical principles that allow participants to examine their personal financial habits and redirect them on the right path in achieving their overall financial success. I’m inspired and motivated in providing a platform for pastors to freely come, learn, and be transformed. I hope all pastors in the Covenant will take advantage of this program.”
Through the new Phase III grant, CFLI will be able to expand relief for pastors highly impacted by Covid, provide resources for bi/co-vocational, under-resourced, and town and country pastors lacking sufficient contributions to their pension fund or insurance, fund projects in the Alaska Conference, increase the capacity of the Ministers’ Care and Crisis Fund, expand Outsourced Accounting, and increase funding for retreats for spiritual care and discernment.
Since it began, the CFLI has sought to nurture a deeper level of openness, learning, and support regarding the economics of ministry and has provided resources and direct financial assistance to Covenant ministers.