Dear Friends, I recently learned that pastors in New Jersey have as part of their parsonage standards, cable TV and Internet. While that isn't the case in our Tennessee Conference, it started me thinking about how one could change/update the parsonage standards.
In our conference, the must-haves include: energy efficient heating and cooling systems; a stove, refrigerator, dish washer, and dryer; some furniture; window coverings; suitable floor coverings; an adequate lawnmower or lawn service (to be negotiated with the pastor); proper installation, storm windows, and storm doors; a garage or carport; and deadbolts on all exterior doors.
First, what do you think about your parsonage standards? Does your parsonage meet those standards? Do you have what you need for ministry in today's world?
Second, if you wanted to change your parsonage standards, would you know how?
Our first parsonage was seriously lacking in both heating and cooling. The window coverings did not cover; there were no storm windows; and the furniture, such as it was, was pitiful. The people were great, but they seemed not to even know there were standards. Our current parsonage is the polar opposite. It is a lovely house.
How is it with you? What words of wisdom can you share to help make life better for other parsonage families?