While fairly standard in the secular workplace, disability insurance coverage does not seem to be as common amongst pastors and churches. Yet, the possibility of a pastor becoming disabled is no less than any other worker in any other profession, and churches should be ready to care for any pastor who becomes disabled - either directly or through the purchase of disability coverage.
Notice the two options I just gave for caring for a disabled pastor (I’m assuming that a church not providing care for a disabled pastor isn’t one of their options. How unloving, uncaring, and un-Christlike would that be?).
One option is for the church to care for a disabled pastor directly – meaning, the church is willing and able to keep that pastor on its payroll (at some level or another) indefinitely, regardless of work performed or services rendered. While this may save the church money on annual premium payments now, it places all of the long-term risk on the church – a commitment that may or may not be feasible in the present or future.
The second option - and the one I would highly recommend - for caring for a disabled pastor is through the purchase of disability insurance coverage. Yes, the church will incur an expense related to the annual premiums, but this is generally minimal – especially when you compare it to the idea of keeping a pastor on your payroll indefinitely should they become disabled. This way, the church transfers the long-term risk to the insurance provider, and everyone can have peace-of-mind knowing that the pastor will be cared for should the unthinkable happen.
Does your church offer disability insurance coverage to your pastor?