Social Security Supports the Church

Kyle Reed // @kylereed

Last week Kathleen Casey-Kirschling retired. Why is this a big deal? Kathleen Casey-Kirschling is the nation’s first baby boomer  to retire and receive social security benefits. She was born in Philadelphia on Jan. 1, 1946, at 12:00:01 a.m. This event could mark the end of a program that has been predicted as bankrupt from the beginning. With the baby boomers coming into retirement could bring this program to its knees.

“We’re going to have tens of thousands of baby boomers retiring every week over the next decade or so and that means that by time we get to 2017, just 10 years away, we will no longer be collecting enough payroll taxes to pay Social Security benefits,” said former Minnesota Democratic Rep. Tim Penny.

I think there is a bigger issue then what will happen in the next seven years. This problem  is facing the church and the social security members.

Here is something that I never hear anyone talk about.

Inside the church there are several older retired couples that live off of social security. These couples never bought into saving for retirement and fully relied on the government to take care of them until they passed away. The problem with this is the money that is there for social security is not much at all. Meaning these couples or individuals do not have a whole lot of money to live on. Take the bad economy and growing prices of living and the decreasing amount of money coming from social security and a recipe of disaster starts brewing.

In the times that I have worked at a church, money was never really something to be concerned about. It was always there and was used to get what you needed, even if that was a Plasma screen to put in the youth center. My attitude towards money inside the church started to change when I started to hear the stories of families that were losing their house or barely able to afford food for their kids. When I heard stories about people still faithfully giving to the church it changed my attitude and even changed my work habits.

Not only are there families that are struggling to pay their mortgage, their are retirees that are getting $150 a month in social security to live off of and giving 10% to the church. I feel like this is a big issue that continues to go unnoticed inside the church world.

I wonder, with knowing that social security could be paying your ministers (or you the minister) salary, does that change the way the church spends money?

Your thoughts?


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Kyle Reed

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Kyle Reed is a connector looking to connect with others. A 20 Something that is blogging his way through life and looking to connect through community. Also a team member of the 8BIT Network and brand evangelist. Find me on twitter: @kylelreed, lets chat.
  • Danny Bixby

    “I wonder, with knowing that social security could be paying your ministers (or you the minister) salary, does that change the way church spends money?”

    I sure hope it doesn’t.

    Well, it doesn’t change my mind about it at least.

    I know not everyone shares my outlook, but I think that every cent that comes into the church should be treated as if it was given out of someone’s poverty, and not out of someone’s wealth.

    That is, every penny that we have to spend in the church needs to be spent with the highest level of responsibility, as if it was donated by a poor widow who gave everything that she had to live on. As opposed to being given by rich people giving in large amounts (ala Mark 12:38-44).

    If we teach people that giving to the church is a spiritual discipline, and that tithing is truly ‘giving to God’ as opposed to ‘giving to the church’ than there is no level of financial responsibility that is ‘too high’ for us.

    • Kyle Reed

      Danny, love that attitude. I was thinking about the widow in Mark 12 as well as I wrote this post. Probably the closest thing to social security and poverty we see in the Bible, or something like that.

      But, I think we both know church leaders who do not have this attitude and use the churches money to pay for some pretty outrageous stuff.

  • Peter P

    My question is: Is looking after the poor in retirement the government’s responsibility or the Church’s?

    I personally think the whole way the Church deals with its resources is completely wrong. That we’d pay (for example) for a plasma screen TV for the youth room which gets used a few hours every week when people in our community are going without food, clothing, housing and medical care is unconscionable, in my opinion.

    • Kyle Reed

      Exactly. Great point Peter.
      Another issue has to be that the church sits empty for 5 days out of the week seems to be messed up as well.

      • Peter P

        I agree.

  • Gary Reed

    Son, interesting and insightful post from a young man (as your grandparents would say). Why think about social security income in your 20s? Because you’re right, as ministers of the Gospel we manage the church’s money (using the widow’s mite and a retired couple’s nickel to spread the Word). This brings an enormous responsibility. Maybe I will think twice before buying my ministry it’s first iPad Touch?

    • Kyle Reed

      Ya with all that money you have…