A pastor's income ?

Discussion in 'Money Talk$' started by Spear, Aug 25, 2009.

  1. Spear

    Spear
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    Hi !

    I've always been admirative about the fact most of our pastors spent so much time for us, and their wives too, helping the church. It's a full time activity, and to be honest, a hard one here. One of our pastors used to have a part-time job to afford his living. I would say our pastors condition is " modest " considering the living standards we have here.

    Are pastors always " paid " from what they get from the church (or from their support overseas) ? Are there some federations that " fix " the salary of the pastors, so that there is more " redistribution " between them ? (in a way, a pastor leading a 100 people church in a lost town doesn't have less merit than one leading a church where 1000 people attend no ? Both probably spend as much time, but what about their comfort and their families ?).

    Of course, i always considered being a pastor as a vocation more than a " job " anyone could take. It's a full time job. But i sometimes have the feeling that some " struggle ", even if they don't think so (God bless them for their humility).

    Yesterday, i read some pastors had an income of more than 100000 US $ a year. Is it possible ? I have the feeling that it is " much " no ? Is the fact of being " very wealthy " compatible with being a pastor (i mean wealthy in terms of income from the pastor activity) ?

    I'm asking because i don't know what to think about this ...

    God bless you all !
     
  2. FlyForFun

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    $100,000 per year is not "wealthy."
     
  3. Joseph M. Smith

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    It is my understanding that the Seventh-Day Adventist Church does have a salary scale that rewards all pastors on essentially the same basis. It may have experience factors, etc., in it, but the large church pastor and the small church pastor are paid from the conference coffers, to which local congregations send their funds. I have not checked this out in detail, but was told this by an SDA pastor some years ago.
     
  4. Spear

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  5. Matt Black

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    $100,000pa (£60,000pa or 68,500 euros pa) is pretty well-off. It's more than I earn as a lawyer.
     
  6. Hardsheller

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    A pastor should receive an average salary for the congregation that he serves.

    If the average church family's income is $50,000/ per year then that would be a good starting salary for the pastor.

    $100,000 is not unheard of here in the USA.

    Most pastors I know make between $35,000-$70,000
     
  7. Spear

    Spear
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    So, we can imagine that a pastor in Beverly Hills or in the Sillicon Valley could earn, let's say 200000 $ a year ?

    If every pastor of a same " denomination " has enough to live correctly, then we can imagine that " it can be ", but can someone telle me if, mostly, all the pastors in a defined country, are all comfortable in their standard of living, or if some struggle ?

    I think 100000 is much. Considering the fact preachers and pastors are (at least those i know) modest people, far from many material things (tv, video games, big cars ...), i wonder (not judging) where is the need of such a high income ?
     
  8. Johnv

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    Like anything else, it depends on the region. In my area of the country, where, even in this market, an average house goes for 600K, a salary of 100K a year is by no means wealthy. OTOH, a salary of 55k a year in Springdale, Arkansas is a significant sum of money.
     
  9. annsni

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    There is no federation in the US that evens out pastor's salary - it's up to the individual congregation or denomination. For us, my husband used to make over $100,000 a year doing computer engineering and he took a significant pay cut to become a pastor. We now make less than 1/2 of what he earned before and both of us work now (I work about 10-12 hours a week at church too). We live in an area where the average salary is $83,000 so we're significantly lower than our neighbors and it sometimes can be tricky when you have kids and live amongst those who can afford things you can't but fortunately, my kids are great and really understand the situation.

    But I agree, a pastor is due a living wage and should not have to beg, suffer or go without just because some people decide that they don't want to pay him. I've heard of so many people really getting into the business of the pastor and how he spends money because they feel they pay his salary so it's their place to correct him. It's ridiculous.

    Oh and in my area, $100,000 is not wealthy but about average when our property taxes are $14,000 alone. Figure through the expenses here (the average house price is $400,000) and $100,000 makes life comfortable but not extravagant.
     
  10. Jim1999

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    In 1945, as a student pastor in London, I was paid £5. per month and given a bicycle for travel. The church also paid for my schooling. The average working man's wage then was about £20. weekly.

    As a military chaplain in Canada, I was paid $140. a month plus food and they provided my university expenses.

    In 1973, in a city of 100,000, I was paid $23,000. per year plus expenses. This was average wage for a worker then. As an example, however, as an Architect I earned $180,000. in 5 months!!!

    My average wage as a pastor over the years was about $26,000. per year.

    For the most part, pastors are not paid, near what they should earn for someone with equal training, schooling and work load.

    If we went into ministry for the money, we missed our calling.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  11. Johnv

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    Agreed that no one gets into it for the money, but as a member of my church's board, I'm a huge proponent of making sure our pastor is adequately compensated monetarily.
     
  12. FlyForFun

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    An income of $100,000 per year is neither rich nor wealthy, in any part of the United States.

    Whther it is excessive for a pastor is another topic.
     
    #12 FlyForFun, Aug 25, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 25, 2009
  13. Matt Black

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    In that case, I'm obviously poor! "Spare some cash for a poor lawyer, guv'nor!"
     
  14. FlyForFun

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    You'e in England -- even if you made 100k you'd lose 40% to taxes.

    :thumbs:
     
  15. TomVols

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    Is $100K a salary or the package? Sometimes church folks consider these terms synonomous when they are not. His package may be this, from which his taxes are deducted, his retirement is funded, His medical/life/malpractice insurance is paid, his housing allowance is funded, and his expenses are reimbursed. So he might actually make about 30K. The average worker in this country has a package (true cost your employer bears) which is 1.5 to 2 times your actual gross pay.

    One church I pastored gave me a package of $26,000. From this, I grossed actual pay of around $1,000 monthly. Before the working class tax cuts earlier this decade, I paid roughly 30-40% of my salary in taxes. So let's put pastoral compensation in perspective.

    There is no Biblical justification for believing that this is excessive without other factors. There's more to this thread than just this issue, I'm out of time. More to come.....
     
  16. Matt Black

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    Not all of it; 'only' (ha!) the earnings over around £40kpa are taxed at that rate.
     
  17. Spear

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    WOW ... I earn, as a system administrator, 2k € a month, which leaves me after taxes, 1600 € :D, my wife, as a full time nurse, earns around 2000 €after taxes ... but that's enough to do what i have to do. We don't drink champagne every evening and drive a splendid BMW, but that's enough for us to be happy, and i consider us lucky, if i watch around families with much less.

    Where did that question came from the basis, why do i ask ? Some time ago, i saw a report on tv. It was about an US evangelical, which was building an AMAZING great church, so BIG !!!! There were so many people attending to the church, that i wondered if a pastor leading a church where thousands of people were attending was by consequence living " better " than one where 100 people attend.

    At the end of the report, there was a tele-evangelist on tv, calling for money (doesn't exist here), its was very interesting.

    Of course, i know most pastors are not driving big cars, go on holidays in super clubs where they want in the world, or don't have 4 plasma TVs and 5 bedrooms and 1 swimming pool. I was just wondering if, considering what i see on TV, it is possible for a pastor, even if there are not many, to be considered " very comfortable " (i won't use " wealthy " anymore, i have the feeling that wealthy = rich, and i might have misunderstood the signification of the word, i thought it meant " not rich, but very comfortable ").
     
  18. Johnv

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    It's usually easy to misjudge a person's income. A few years ago, it as time to replace my wife's car. I nearly got her a three year old Mercedes, which was in pristine condition. But sinçe she's a private school teacher, she was concerned about parents thinking the school made too much money. So instead of paying $20,000 for the Mercedes, I ended up paying $25,000 for something else. I had to pay an extra 5k just to avoid someone's fingerwagging.

    Also, we should not punish a pastor for making wise monetary decisions. My cousin's church hired a new youth pastor (they're a 3000 person congregation that needed a fulltime youth pastor). The youth pastor's wife was a cardiac surgeon, who made a good income. On top of that, he had made some very wise financial investments when he was younger, which allowed him to buy a bigger house than average. He lived in a nice house with a pool, and frequently had youth ministry events there. It would have been incorrect to presume he was being unjustly enriched by his employment at the church.
     
    #18 Johnv, Aug 25, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 25, 2009
  19. billwald

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    The Christian Reformed Church posts a minimum wage for pastors. Most are paid to their community median income or better. Our denomination "leaders" pay themselves 2 or 3 times median income but do their best to hide it.
     
  20. annsni

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    You most likely saw one of the leaders in the "prosperity gospel" movement who feel that they must have more and more - big and better - to prove that they are successful in God's eyes. There are some of those pastors with multi-million dollar houses, cars, boats, airplanes, vacation homes, etc. But the vast majority of true Gospel pastors are not in that category at all and are fortunate to have a parsonage, a modest car and a retirement fund.
     

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