Pastoral Call and Pay Package

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by TomVols, Jul 13, 2007.

  1. TomVols

    TomVols
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    I'm dealing with a church that wants to wait until I accept the vote (should the vote come) before they offer a salary package. I've heard of another church doing the same thing this month.

    Have any of you ever done this? I've never seen this before. Is this a new trend?

    How would you prompt them to give you at least a ball-park range? Or would you want a precise package?
     
  2. rbell

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    I'm not trying to be your conscience, just answering how I would probably feel in your shoes:

    A bit nervous. My higher calling than ministry is providing for my family. Some churches approach this with the, "What can we afford to do for him?" Others, sadly, approach with, "What can we get by with?"

    There's too much room for a wild swing for me to be comfy with a blind acceptance. I would at least need a ballpark...and probably a fairly exact figure. But that's just me. IMO the stakes are too high to risk a lowball offer that causes my family hardship.
     
  3. TomVols

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    Well, I'd hold that position rather firmly, but my wife has a very good job. I would prefer a ballpark
     
  4. Jonathan

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    Let me qualify my comments: I'm a pastor's son; a pastor's son-in-law; have served on search committees; have been involved in lay church leadership for around 25 years.

    I would consider the discussion of salary package, specifics not ball park, as a key component in the decision to accept a call. A church that won't discuss finances prior to the acceptance of a call is a church that most likely is minefield for any incoming pastor. Don't forget that this search committee is composed of laity and it is very likely that few to none of them have insider knowledge of the demands of ministry on the minster and family. It may be that they have a salary range in mind but haven't settled it. It may be that they are struggling financially and are still waiting on God in this area. But it may be that this is the first test of your ability to lead this flock. If they perceive weakness on your part, the stage could be set for power struggles for your entire tenure.

    While it is possible that this is THE situation that God is calling you to, without any other information I'd have to advise you to at least find out why they won't propose a package before even considering the call.
     
    #4 Jonathan, Jul 13, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 13, 2007
  5. TomVols

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    The church has always been "full-time" but now are probably leaning towards requiring the pastor to be bivocational. I should've mentioned that to begin with.
     
  6. TCGreek

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    I would prefer a ballpark too. I thought that was the norm. Maybe a new trend.
     
  7. SBCPreacher

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    This would make me wonder what else the want to "surprise" you with after you're there.

    I think they need to be up-front about everything, including the money.
     
  8. StefanM

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    I could see the rationale behind keeping salary discussion until later in the process, but it is completely unfair to expect the minister to make a decision without knowing the compensation.

    As rbell indicated, the family is the number one priority.
     
  9. exscentric

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    Off hand, if you don't like the idea tell them and mention your reasons and suggest they look elsewhere. You might use as one of your reasons - would any of you take a job before knowing what you were going to be paid :)

    I was asked to fill out an application for pastor years ago that ask permission to run a credit check. I wrote back and suggested they were suggesting all pastors tended toward poor and secretive financial dealings. It didn't bother me one ounce that I did not get a response (this was one of a couple items).:thumbs:
     
  10. Jim1999

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    If the church can ask for your credentials before giving a call, surely you can enquire of their finances before accepting a call. A man is worthy of his hire. We are talking 21st century, and not the first century.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  11. gb93433

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    The pay package tells a lot about the church and its attitude.
     
  12. Major B

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    Yagottabekiddinme!

    Ask this group of geniuses if they would accept a new job without knowing the compensation!
     
  13. Major B

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    I am leaning toward the idea that all pastors should be bi-vocational, and that larger churches just need to have more staff members, or if they are using Biblical church government, more elders.

    I know of one mega-church which has six co-pastors, all bi-vo, and they are running 1300 on Sunday AM.

    I have told every preacher boy I've talked to for the past several years, that before he goes to seminary, he needs to get a "ticket" to financial independence: teaching certificate, electrian's license, plumber's license, RN, EMT, something that is portable and well paid. Paul was a tent maker, an honored profession in his day.

    I teach school to support my ministry habit--the hours, etc., are perfect. As a professional person in the community, a teacher with National Board Certifcation, I have a status among the laymen that is not generally the same for pastors, who are often looked down upon (secretly) because they "don't know how to do anything but preach."
     
    #13 Major B, Jul 13, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 13, 2007
  14. SaggyWoman

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    I am sorry, but they ought to be telling you something, including insurance and retirement and car expense.
     
  15. Pastor Larry

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    I would say you need to know very well the financial state of the church including what they expect to pay you. I think it is absurd for a church not to talk about finances prior to the call. I can see not talking about it in the opening meetings with a candidate, but to refuse until after the call is crazy.

    Tell them if they want to hold back until after the vote, that you reserve the right to not accept the call.

    I can't imagine any church operating as they are. As one person mentioned, it makes you wonder what else they are hiding.
     
  16. TomVols

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    I counsel this as well, which is why I'm earning an MBA right now. Too bad it took me a couple of decades to get to where I could :)

    By the way, I've just heard of another church that is doing this. I've got to get my hands on a copy of the "Pastor Search Handbook" that these state conventions are putting out.
     
  17. Tom Bryant

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    I would agree with most saying that you ought to at least get a FIRM ball park figure.

    Maybe state conventions are telling their pastor search team trainers something different than the seminaries are saying. The last guy we hired has acted like he was negotiating with us for the best package. Everything had to be down on paper. We made the mistake and hired him. It was a big mistake. He was a hireling, rather than a pastor of students.

    I asked him after he gave his resignation why he was so insistent on everything being in writing. He said that the seminary and his father (a long time pastor) had told him that churches don't often tell the truth when talking about money.

    I told him if that was his and his father's view about churches, they both out to get out of the ministry.
     
  18. gb93433

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    In most cases that is true but some churches want to have the pastor dependent on them so he won't leave and they do not have to work. If the pastor actually had a real job and started a ministry among the commuinity where he works the deacons would look bad. I told a group of deacons in a church I pastored that if they did not get to work and stop making excuses I would go get a regular job, become bivocational and show them how to do ministry. They finally decided they would quit giving excuses and get to work.

    If a pastor were bivocational then the leaders in most churches would have no excuses. They could not say they do not have enough time because they would have the same amount of time as the pastor.
     
  19. gb93433

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    Most any pastor and denomination leader will tell you that most churches do not tell the whole truth. Some feel as though if the pastor knew everything then he would not come.

    Churches that lie should not have a pastor but a closing.

    In the second church I pastored two of the deacons regularly posted the wrong attendance. They did not like it when I told them that I would not stand for that. One of then told me that if he stopped doing that then people would notice. I told him to just let them notice. The church began growing so fast that people never mentioned about the attendance posted. That church had so many problems one of which was a lack of integrity and another was doctrinal strength.
     
  20. SaggyWoman

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    Withholding information now may be reflective of a controlling church later.
     

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