Deceptive Budgeting

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by Dr. Bob, Jan 9, 2003.

  1. Dr. Bob

    Dr. Bob
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    A church desires to keep the actual salary of the pastor, associate, secretary, janitor a "secret" - or at least private. After all, we don't know how much anyone else in the church actually makes.

    So the budget just says Salaries/Benefits $xyz and does not break it down. Some of the members would like to see the individual amounts listed.

    How does YOUR church handle this "touchy" area of budgeting? :confused:
     
  2. Paul of Eugene

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    At our church, they are blessed/burdened by having me on the budget committee putting the spreadsheet together on my laptop. We list all the salaries individually - pastor, youth pastor, janitor, secretary.
     
  3. Baptist Believer

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    When I was in my early college days, I was a custodian for my home church. They listed everyone's salaries individually in the budget. Honestly, I appreciated it because the church knew how little I was making (5 cents over minimum wage). That tended to cut down on late-night calls about upcoming events and treating me like an employee when I was in worship off duty. (I didn't mind helping when there was a problem -- I had a full set of keys and such -- but I didn't like people trying to call me out of teaching Sunday School to tell me which floors they thought needed waxing! :mad: )

    Then we had a new pastor come in and he had demanded twice the salary of the previous pastor plus $1500 a month housing allowance (this was back in 1985). His total package was just under $90,000 and he was 28 years old with a freshly minted D.Min in Religious Education.

    He immediately had the church add all the salaries together into one column (including janitorial staff and professional childcare workers -- all of us nearly minimum wage), and then told the church what the average salary of church employees was... :rolleyes:

    Before long about 60-65% of our church budget went for salaries and we had to cut back on our mission and benevolence budgets to keep up. (Previously, we had given nearly 22% of our offerings directly to the Cooperative Program, but the new fundamental staff greatly reduced it to "take care of needs here".

    All of this led to great dissention in the congregation and was one of the factors involved in a church split that took place about 2 years after he arrived and about 2 months after he left and took the entire church staff with him to the new church. :rolleyes:

    Although I am no longer a member of that church, I still get the newsletter and I've noticed that they now list pastoral salaries seperately from other employee salaries.

    [ January 09, 2003, 01:27 AM: Message edited by: Baptist Believer ]
     
  4. JIMNSC

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    All monies are accounted for openly. Should a visitor visit during that time of month the budget is printed, they are even welcomed to a copy of it.
     
  5. Deacon

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    Salaries can be such a divisive issue. My church lists the salaries budget as you have described above but upon request will disclose the individual salary of each individual.
     
  6. Jonathan

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    Our church handles this in a very similar manner. The published budget identifies a lump sum for all salaries and benefits. Any member is welcomed and encouraged to come to the office to see the breakdown by person if desired.

    We have personnel and finance committees (made up and chaired by the laity) who investigate and set the individual salaries.

    This plan works very well.
     
  7. NateT

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    We post ours on the budget sheet. Its actually broken up into several areas. We have his salary, his housing, his insurance, his retirment, his auto reimbursement (i think for travel, but I'm not sure). We also have the bi-voc music salary etc. Since we are w/o a pastor right now, we just lumped the whole thing together to show how much we would be paying this year if we had one.

    I like knowing how much the pastor made while he was here, not because I was being nosy but knowing how much work he did and how little he got, it would have made me support a raise w/o question had the issue come up in the short time I've been there.
     
  8. Hardsheller

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    We list the Pastor's Salary in the Church Bulletin right along side all the Deacon's Salaries and all the other Churchmember's Salaries.

    I wished.
     
  9. Testimony

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    We seldom have business meetings and when we do, everything EXCEPT the pastor's salary if listed. We are a small congregation, less than 100, the majority being young people ranging from 13-39, but the pastor's salary is in excess of $5000 per month.

    At the time the pastor was "given" this salary, the church has a separate business that brought in additional monies to help subsidize the church finances, however, the pastor has now closed that business and the extra money is not there. Needless to say, we're in dire financial straits.
     
  10. Refreshed

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    Our pastor doesn't recieve a salary. We don't pass the plate at our church and we have a box in the back (like in the New Testament). It has two slots in it, one for the church finances, and one for the Pastor. He and his family live by faith off of whatever is in his side of the box. God hasn't failed them yet! Oh, by the way, we don't know what goes into his side of the box. It's not any of our business, and as for what you put in the box on either side, he says, "that's between you and the Lord."

    Jason :D

    [ January 09, 2003, 12:52 PM: Message edited by: Refreshed ]
     
  11. Jeff Weaver

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    We likewise don't pass the plate, but have a basket in the back of the building. Neither the pastor nor the assistant (me) take anything. The money is used to help with the expenses of ministers who visit from afar, to pay the utility bills on the buildings, and to assist the less fortunate in the church and community (and they never know that we did it either).
     
  12. donnA

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    We don't have secrets going on with our money. We all know what our paid people make. Shouldn't be any secerts.
     
  13. Johnv

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    I don't feel it's necessary to reveal salaries of church staff to the congregation, but it should not be a secret to the board.
     
  14. Don

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    My personal experience: A church that I was involved with had a "part time" pastor, something I've come to learn is not a bad thing. He wanted to become full time pastor, something the church thought was a good idea, too; but he had a stipulation that we had to guarantee him a salary. We were running around 60 members each Sunday morning, and to be honest, I was the most "well to do" financially (which isn't really saying as much about me as it is about the rest of the congregation). The church stepped out on faith, and promised him the salary he asked for. I had a bad feeling about it all, because I had always been taught that he was the one that should be stepping out on faith, not demanding things from his congregation in return for his service. I also felt he was quite "fiscally oriented," if you know what I mean. Shortly after the church voted to support him, things went to the proverbial handbasket. I and several other families left the church, and naturally, the church couldn't support him. The ONLY job he wanted to take full time wasn't available in the local area, so he took one six hours away in another state, which meant he was only available to the congregation on weekends.

    He stepped down as pastor, they hired a new one. He's since moved his family to the new state, and I hear he even joined a new church.
     
  15. Ps104_33

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    Any tithing member of a church has the right to know the salaries of the people on the staff of the church. As a taxpayer dont you feel that you should know how much we are paying our reps. in the house and senate?

    By the same token do you think the pastor has the right to know how much each member is giving?
     
  16. Gina B

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    The last one I was a member of listed everything, including the pastors salary, and the papers were passed out at business meetings which all the members attended. Pastor even had how he would file his taxes voted on.
    If you want the opinion of a girl, [​IMG] I don't think any money in the church or how it's spent should be kept from the members. Everyone gives it, everyone agrees on where it should go. This way any questionable spending or missing money just doesn't happen and if it did everyone would have a pretty good idea of what it was all about.
    Gina
     
  17. rlvaughn

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    Like the situations with Jeff & Refreshed, no salaries are paid. I am curious, though, why, if the church is paying the pastor's salary, why they wouldn't have the right to know how much it is???
     
  18. Artimaeus

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    No secrets. All money, every penny coming in and going out is accounted for and published for all the world to see in the monthly business meeting.
     
  19. Pastork

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    My church puts the total amount of my salary package in the budget for all to see. The last couple of years the elders have asked me to leave the room while the congregation discussed the portion of the budget dealing with my pay, but this was only because they intended to give me a raise and thought I would object. I have tried to get them not to give me a raise the past couple of years because we have had so many in the congregation move away and I didn't want to put a strain on those who were here. Besides, my family lives comfortably enough. However, they continued their practice of giving me a substantial raise every year, and always by a unanimous vote (which is the only kind of vote our church has had on anything for years). They really are too good to me! [​IMG]

    Pastork
     
  20. Pennsylvania Jim

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    Similar to what PastorK says...

    In our church it's openly listed and voted on by the congregation each year along with approval of the rest of the budget. And, we also ask the pastor to leave while his salary is discussed, so that folks feel free to speak their minds or ask questions. Our pastor isn't getting rich, but gets a raise every year and at least has enough to get by at about the level of the average family in the church, or maybe a little less.

    He graciously accepts it, and some years has even requested no or little raise to leave more money for other things. And, I know that he tithes and then some.
     

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