Disclosure

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by dh1948, Jul 27, 2009.

  1. dh1948

    dh1948
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    I thought I posted this earlier today, but it hasn't shown up yet, so I am posting it again....

    Does your church publish individual staff salaries and benefits? I have a small group of older people (70+ years) in my church that is upset that we do not. Instead, we publish the total of all staff salaries and benefits, but we do not show the individual figures. It is a matter of privacy.

    We do make the individual figures available to church members who submit a written request to our chairperson of the Personnel Team.

    I am wondering how other churches with multiple staff members handle this. Your response is appreciated.
     
  2. Johnv

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    My wife and I are founding elders in our church. We chose at the beginning to be transparent on staff salaries. Given that we only have two peopel on staff, it's not a very long list :thumbsup:.

    More importantly, I dont' believe it's necessary for churches to have that level of disclosure. There should be, after all, a level of privacy granted to the employees of a church. A church should, annualy at least, publish its financial summary, but disclosing total salaries (rather than individual) is usually sufficient.

    ust my $.02
     
  3. Revmitchell

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    Typical Baptist Business meetings include disclosure of all money going out and coming in to include salaries. They may often be lumped together in a category.
     
  4. rbell

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    We publish salaries as a lump sum.

    There is one business meeting a year in which individual salaries are discussed. Only members may attend this meeting (it is held mid-afternoon on a Sunday).

    At any point during the year, a church member may make an appointment with the financial secretary and view the salary of any church staff member.

    However, public complaining by a church member regarding salaries (outside of the meeting designed for such) will likely result in a visit from the pastor.

    Staff members complaining about/comparing salaries can be grounds for dismissal.
     
  5. rbell

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    dh, you are handling it well, IMO.

    These folks that are upset would probably be upset if folks knew what THEY made. Double standard.
     
  6. Jim1999

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    I seem to come from a different era. The only paid staff in all my churches over 60 odd years were the pastor and the custodian. Both were public knowledge; nothing to hide.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  7. annsni

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    When the entire congregation publishes their salaries, then our church staff will too. The budget clearly outlines the salaries of the total staff (which is large) but not one individual person.
     
  8. Tom Butler

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    The church I serve publishes a treasurer's report each month, accounting for every dollar spent and on what it was spent. This includes the salaries and benefits of the pastor; the salaries of the full-time and part-time staff.

    Each September, the Finance Committee prepares a budget and revenue estimate that is brought to the entire congregation for approval. This is the time for questions and discussion. You don't show up for that business meeting, you have no cause for complaining.

    Any proposed expenditure not anticipated in the budget must be approved by the congregation.

    This may be too much transparency for some, but it works for us.
     
  9. rbell

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    That doesn't mean that the way described in the OP isn't a better way.
     
  10. SaggyWoman

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    Many churches that I have attended...well.... most churches..... have listed out the salaries and packages.

    Very few have lumped them together, but if they did, I think opportunity was given for disclosure.
     
  11. rbell

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    IMHO, the church members have a right to know what they are paying their staff. But that doesn't mean it has to be published for all to see. And if the members want to know so they can lord it over the heads of the staff, or stir up dissention...then they don't have the right motives anyway.

    Our way preserves the "right to know," while making it difficult for troublemakers to troublemake (is that a word? Too late...I typed it).
     
  12. Tom Bryant

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    Our people know what we make. It's just always been that way at the church. I don't mind. It was obvious before we had pastoral staff, so we just continue it on as a budget item.
     
  13. annsni

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    Why do members have a right to know what the staff are getting paid? Do I deserve to know what my doctor is getting paid? Do I deserve to know what my mechanic is getting paid? I don't think that's anyone's business. If a church is set up properly, it's not the pastor who chooses his salary but a finance committee or something similar who oversees the finances of the church including salaries. In our church, we have a finance committee and an independent auditing firm who goes over our books every year so we're on the up and up but I don't think that everyone in the congregation needs to know what we're making. I don't know, I don't know what they're making, you know?
     
  14. rbell

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    Let me clarify:

    I like how our system is set up: the member can make an appointment and view the salaries. But they cannot take this information outside the office and use it as leverage.

    Church members, IMO, have a right to know how the salaries are apportioned. But how they know this information, and the method in which it is publicized and made available, should be strictly overseen.

    IMO, there are two extremes:
    • One extreme: Everyone knows everything about the ministers' salaries. There is no privacy, and the subject is open to discussion, speculation, and gossip. This is not healthy for the minister or their families.
    • The opposite extreme: It is impossible to find out how much any of your church staff are being paid. This, IMO, falls short in the area of accountability, and sounds more like our governmental systems. One can be open in disclosure without sacrificing the privacy of employees. I've described our system above, and it works quite well.
     
  15. gb93433

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    The salaries of all public employees is public domain. When someone gives to an organization they have a right to know where there money is going and how it is being used.
     
  16. dh1948

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    Really? Since you help pay the salaries of the public school teachers in your city or county through your tax money, may I assume that each teacher's individual salary is published and made available to every taxpayer in your locale?

    In my case, nobody is trying to hide anything. Everyone does have a right to know "where the money is going." That has nothing to do with individual salaries being published.
     
  17. gb93433

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    Absolutely. It is public domain. Many states publish it and it can easily be looked up on the internet. The same information can be obtained at the school district office.

    For example the state employees for Iowa are listed at http://data.desmoinesregister.com/results/index.php?info=State_Salaries

    In CA http://www.sacbee.com/statepay/
     
    #17 gb93433, Jul 31, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 31, 2009
  18. Lux et veritas

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    Congregations should know what the pastor is paid. Including all his benefits, etc. What's the problem with that? They're paying him! I would have serious misgivings about the pastor or any paid staff who wishes to have their income kept from the very ones who are paying his salary, benefits, allowances, etc.
     
  19. gb93433

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    When people hide nothing they have nothing to hide. When people do not hide anything they give the people reasons to trust them.

    The last time I heard a pastor talk about hiding salaries was for the reason to avoid conflict. He was afraid if people really knew what he was making they would complain.
     
  20. rbell

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    In my posts, I am quite clear: Any church member who wants to know salaries can know. It is discussed, and voted on.

    We simply no longer print that information on every monthly financial report, and non-members no longer have access to that information.

    We're not secretive. We are, however, not careless with the information.
     

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