Pastor compensation

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by freeatlast, Sep 8, 2010.

  1. freeatlast

    freeatlast
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    I was looking at the average Pastors compensation and $85,634 was the average based on one web site I looked at. However I am not so sure that those numbers are a real reflection of the average church.
    How does your church decide the standards for setting the Pastors compensation? And if you feel it should be done different then please state that also.
     
  2. jaigner

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    That average is likely skewed because of megachurches with large staffs. We really need to see more of a scope to understand the compensation pastors are given in many circles. Mostly, it's horrifically low. Qualified, full-time pastors should be paid much better.

    In many locations, 85K isn't nearly just compensation.
     
  3. freeatlast

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    How about giving some examples to what you are meaning?
     
  4. abcgrad94

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    Our church set the standard according to what they felt they could afford to pay based on church membership and tithes and offerings. They count our living in the parsonage and it's utilities as part of his "income" as well. My dh works a full-time job in addition to pastoring so that we can have insurance and enough to pay medical bills, gasoline, transportation, etc.

    I believe a church should pay based on what they can afford, the current standard of living, job experience, and expectations placed on the pastor. I have seen application forms that asked if the wife worked outside the home so the church could pay the preacher less. I've heard people complain that the pastor "already had a job" so they shouldn't have to pay him as well. I've even been told on occasion that the pastor is working "for the Lord" and should "rely on the Lord" for his daily needs. I guess these folks didn't realize the Lord uses PEOPLE to help provide those needs.

    This is just flat WRONG. Yes, there are crooks who take advantage of God's people, but I think the vast majority of pastors are dreadfully underpaid compared to their counterparts in secular jobs and they are more hesitant to ask for a raise because they will be viewed as greedy, un-thankful, or worse--unbelieving that "God" will supply their needs.
     
  5. Salty

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    Should your distance from the church make a difference?

    I will be drivng 233 miles one way, on the weekends.

    (thats right - over 2 hundred miles - am I crazy or what)
     
  6. StefanM

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    I think a church should factor this in. Of course, at that kind of distance, your job is primarily going to be pulpit supply, which is a different animal than week-to-week ministry.
     
  7. Jim1999

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    One church did ask me about the wage expected. I responded: "Somewhere between the highest paid member and the lowest paid member, including benefits." They agreed and I was rewarded handsomely.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  8. webdog

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    I may be in the minority here, but I think the salary should reflect all the elders, not just the preaching elder or "Sr. Pastor". Our church supplies the Pastor's salary, but our elders who work just as hard are volunteers while working full time as well. I'm not sure that is what Paul had in mind when discussing the model a church should use.

    Having said that, I feel the compensation for the pastor(s) should reflect many things like rent v. own facility, utilities, member demographic and size of congregation.
     
  9. Luke2427

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    It seems to me that any salary should not be based on how hard someone works but how effective they are at what they do. It's the old adage: work smarter not harder.

    If a man works twenty hours a week and doubles the church attendance and the people are growing spiritually and the offerings are through the roof and missions giving is doubled- pay the man what he is worth.

    If he works 80 hours a week and the church is drying up and dying on the vine- pay the man what he is actually worth to the ministry there- not based on how many hours he works or how much sweat he devotes.

    Computer programmers often work very few hours a week and they do not invest very much physical energy yet they are paid very well because of their great value.

    Pay the pastor based on his value as well- not his sweat, not his hours- but his value..
     
  10. preachinjesus

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    Always interesting to read what people think about clergy compensation.

    We pay our staff very well because we love them and want them to be focused on their calling and secure in their livelihood. We also don't want to lose them.

    Like it or not its a free market give and take thing. One of the great things about being Baptist is local church autonomy.
     
  11. abcgrad94

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    Good grief, that is the WORST way in the world to pay a minister of God! What a terrible motivation for earning a salary, based on outward appearances. This "solution" assumes that the pastor is the one who causes physical church growth, who works in the hearts of man and causes them to grow spiritually. Bad, bad, bad idea.

    It is the HOLY SPIRIT who works in the hearts of man. Many great pastors and missionaries have toiled long and hard, continued to be faithful with little or even NO evidence of what man calls "success." I believe it was A. Judson who did not see a single convert for the first seven years of his ministry, yet the Lord used him mightily over the years.

    If we judge "success" by attendance and offerings, it's no wonder our churches are in the spiritual mess they are in today. Smooth-talking wolves like Joel Osteen might pack the pews, but that is not an indication of truly being used of God.
     
  12. preachinjesus

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    Yeah, pretty much sums up my take on the comment. Well said.

    We absolutely need to liberate ministry from its success syndrome. Infinite exponential growth is unreasonable and unlikely.
     
  13. Alcott

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    I agree with your basic reasoning here; though I do doubt in many cases the "underpaid compared to their counterparts in secular jobs." In addition, I do know a few things about some of the perks that often go along with the job, from travel agents, clothing shop owners, auto service reps and the like. And it's too bad many people see these things with the medium and large church ministers and assume they must be true of the small church pastor, or especially the bivocational one.

    But even with all this, a preacher/pastor should not preach about 'tithing' and 'giving your first fruits' while trusting God to supply your needs if he doesn't follow that same line in regard to his compensation package.
     
  14. webdog

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    ABCGrad pretty much summed up my thoughts on this post, but I would like to point out that Scripture mentions a plurality of elders, and I don't see where only one is to be compensated, while the rest are supposed to volunteer while expected to support their families on their own as well.

    For the Scripture says, "Do not muzzle the ox while it is treading out the grain," and "The worker deserves his wages."
     
  15. annsni

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    Could it be that this includes everything like retirement, medical insurance, housing/parsonage expenses and the like? That would make a large difference.
     
  16. Salty

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    I will be doing a lot more than pulpit supply, there will be a lot of visiting :praying: on Fri evening and Sat along with many other duties
     
  17. StefanM

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    I wish you the best with this endeavor. I know it will be challenging due to distance.
     
  18. freeatlast

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    Salty,
    if this is a full time pastor (weekly preacher), and I cannot even begin to think it is, it is his choice to live so far. No extra compensation should be granted. If this is some kind of filling in on a one time or short time bases I would also say no they could find someone closer. If this is some kind of special event where the church contacted someone out of the area to bring some special message or training then I would say yes. Or the church simply wanted this one person and no one else then i would say yes. Normally the distance should not be considered. As an individual I choose to live way out in the Country. I have to drive close to 100 miles to work. That is my choice. The employer is not expected to cover those extra miles. However if another employer contacted me and wanted just me for a certain job he would have to relocate me or pay the extra miles. The same should be for a Pastor. In the US no full time Pastor should be averaging less then 50,000 a year. That should be the bottom limit. More if his duties are ministring to large congreations. (over 300 people regular attendence) By full time I am speaking of at least 40 hours a week and no more then 60. That amount should not include insurance, retirement, and car allowance for visitation. If a house is provided then there could be a deducted.
     
    #18 freeatlast, Sep 8, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 8, 2010
  19. freeatlast

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    I really don't know. But my suspicion is no. I wish that they would break the averages down into church size rather then average all churches and throw them into one pot.
     
  20. StefanM

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    I think that a major issue related to compensation is the lack of relative compensation for educational level.

    When one considers that many ministers have professional degrees (M.Div./M.A.C.E.) and quite a few also have advanced degrees (Ph.D./Th.D. or D.Min.), ministerial compensation may appear to be lacking in all but the larger churches.
     

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