In today’s world a car is a necessity. Every American pastor would be at a great disadvantage to do his work if he didn’t have reliable transportation. There are some mission fields where a scooter, a bicycle or public transportation are a feasible substitute, but I can’t think of a single place in America where a pastor can survive without a car. Even in New York City where public transportation is readily available there are many occasions where it doesn’t provide the necessary means for the pastor to do his job.
Since a car is an absolute necessity there are important issues every preacher must consider. First, consider what model and year of car is appropriate. A brand new luxury car in a country church might seem extravagant while in an upper class community many people may drive an expensive car and probably would consider it appropriate. So it is important to consider what your church members drive and what seems appropriate in your community.
Pastors must have reliable transportation. If a member calls and needs you at the hospital immediately they will not understand if your car cannot make it. Your car should be in good condition and be properly maintained. Regular maintenance can be done by you if you are handy and if not it should be regularly serviced by a mechanic. Your car is a major investment and you must continually maintain it to preserve your investment.
Keeping the car clean can be a challenge especially if you live in the Snow Belt where sand and salt continually cling to your vehicle. Regular washes and vacuuming the interior must be done as needed. People question whether or not you can care for them if you cannot care for your car. Children leave wrappers and candy and they should be taught to clean up every time they ride in the car. Your car reflects a testimony that should speak volumes about your character.
Not everyone can afford a new car or an expensive car but everyone can maintain the car they own. Some vehicles today can continue well over two-hundred thousand miles and still be reliable. In a new work owning a van can be a great asset. You can use it for your family and also you can use it to pick up members and bring them to church.
Although you may have to finance your car it is important that you can afford the payments. It is much better to pay cash for your car but not everyone is prepared to do so. When finances are an issue it is usually better to purchase something used that still has some miles on it.
The primary considerations of the pastors car are affordability, practicality and maintenance. A car is a necessity and it is a major investment and it also says something to your member and community about who you are. Pray for wisdom and seek counsel when making such an important purchase.