Pastor's Salary

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Phillip, Dec 21, 2005.

  1. Phillip

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    I thought about doing this with a poll, but decided I would rather hear some discussion on it.

    I have a friend who is on the finance committee of a small church and is concerned about the large raises being given the pastor.

    I have not visited this church, all I know is that it IS an SBC and will be voting on the financial budget this month.

    The church averages about 140 people in Sunday School and less than 45 in night church. They add about 20 to the morning number for what they call home-bound (this is the number of people that a nursing home rolls to the front to listen to a class that is held during the week.) This always makes the church report at somewhere between 150 and 160.

    When you post, please state whether or not you are a pastor and what you think about the proposed salary. The preacher stated that he felt his salary should have a much higher percentage of increase than the other workers in the church because he is not respected as the leader otherwise. In my opinion a flat percentage works better because it is fair across the board and a low paid employee will only get a low increase anyway.

    If a larger percentage is paid to top positions the seperatation between rich and poor will only get larger and larger.

    Here is the data for the pastor's salary, averaged to the nearest $200.00. I have also included unlisted perks.

    I know we should pay pastors as much as possible, but is this a little bit on the high side for the size of church?

    These are all paid to the pastor as cash--he wanted it broken out this way in case he gets audited (or so he says). Last year it was lumped together. All of this is paid to him in checks:

    Base pay $24,300.
    Pastor Ins/Annuity $3,600 (this is what HE pays)
    Pastor Housing $7,200
    Pastor Professional expense $2000
    Pastor Medical Reimbursement $8000


    Okay, on top of these. He has a very nice parsonage, fully owned by the church. He gets a cell-phone. Insurance is paid on the parsonage, his personal items (including books in his church office), and property taxes. (This is besides the $7200 cash designed for housing.)

    The church also pays $1500 into the SBC annuity for his retirement.

    He opted out of Social Security, but complains about being treated like he is self employed; however, as can be seen, he doesn't have much to pay taxes on.

    This includes a 5% raise for this year while the youth minister is getting a 4% and nursery/janitors are getting 3%.

    I am not arguing either way, at the moment, I just want to see discussion. Please, be sure to indicate if you are a pastor yourself.

    By the way, this is in a rural area and not close to where I live. I will keep the name and area for the sake of privacy of the church.
     
  2. Psalm 100

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    I'm not a pastor, but I can't follow his reasoning about "being respected". He shouldn't worry about human respect, but about what Christ will say to him on that final day.

    About the actual amount he is being compensated, I think I would have to know what the living costs are in that area. I see you're from SE Oklahoma. I have good friends in Salisaw and Stillwell, and from what I've seen, that salary would tend to be high for that number of attendees, but once again, I don't know.
     
  3. Phillip

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    The cost of living is close to what it is where I live. Since I work for the Army, and there is a big base here, they did a study and we were number one on the lowest cost of living areas where there is a lot of government employement.

    California and East Coast sites were much higher.

    This is why the government gives a little more cost of living increases in the larger areas. Its only fair.

    I think he is being paid VERY well considering the number of members. I suggested to my friend that they figure out how much they think they can raise all of the salaries and mmake it a flat percentage across the board....his answer is the pastor would not go for it and he has three of his fishing buddies in the committee to fight this issue with.

    I guess it doesn't matter what they pay him. From what my friend says, he gets his way every time anyway. He is the same pastor who called people evil who question things that come up in business meeting.

    I think the problem runs deeper than money. I think that is just a symptom of greater issues. .....sad.......

    Any others want to comment?
     
  4. Gayla

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    Not a pastor.


    I think you're right about the problem being deeper than money.
    Sounds like this Pastor thinks he can earn respect because he gets paid alot?? Or does he want to buy it?
     
  5. TaterTot

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    Pastors wife here.

    You didnt say what his education is - I think salary should be commensurate to that.

    I am a little bothered about the "respect" thing, too. Sadly, I do know some guys we met in seminary that were big on that. Even if we thought we needed a raise here, we'd never say it.
     
  6. North Carolina Tentmaker

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    I have been a pastor but am not right now. The salary package you describe sounds generous to me, but not shockingly high. I am assuming that this is a full time pastor. You are talking about a package of 45k plus parsonage and he pays retirement and medical insurance out of that. You are probably requiring an advanced degree and professional ongoing training as well. If you take out the medical reimbursement, professional training, and retirement you are left with $31,500. If he works 40 hours per week and takes off two weeks a year that is 2000 hours so he is making 15.75 per hour. That is a decent wage, but about the same as a good craftsman with an associates degree can make welding or electrical troubleshooting. And the truth is he is probably working a lot more than 40 hours per week. Of course we don’t know all the details he may be lazy and slacking off but then I would assume the church would notice and be unhappy with his performance.

    I don’t understand the statement about how his pay increase is tied to the respect given him as a leader. I would probably argue a flat fee percentage increase for all paid staff, but again we don’t know all the details. Has the church grown considerably in the last year and is that because of the pastor? There are other questions should be asked.

    How has church giving grown over the last year? If offerings are up 15% then a 5% raise might be too small. If offerings are down it may be too much. What can the church afford to pay? I have been part of a church before that believed in making up any budget you wanted and then trusting God to supply the money. In the real world that does not work. Look at last years receipts and build your budget from that. Then at the end of the year if giving is up and you have extra cash you pay bonuses, have a big Christmas party, and send all the missionaries a gift.
     
  7. Phillip

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    The pastor has an associates degree that he got from extension courses from a Baptist college.

    You didn't catch all of the retirement. He puts $3600 of what he is paid into annuity, but the church ALSO pays $1500 into his annuity (not listed in the salary area).

    The church has not really grown. It dropped after several families left about five years ago and has recovered from that, but was actually running around 170 at the time--now it is about 140 or so. The church is cash-rich, but the pastor is anxious to spend the money, so the CD's they have will be cashed in to build a new dining room. When that happens the church will loose all of its rainy day money. (I'm not saying this is bad, just pointing out facts.)

    Income has NOT increased, but the budget is being increased.

    Sorry it took so long to answer I had to call my friend to get this info.

    Besides about 100K in CDs that was put in while some fairly rich families went to the church (they are now gone), they have about 40K operating cash. The proposed budget will use this up if the revenues don't increase.
     
  8. Deacon

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    I think you'll generally find that people that make less than the pastor will say he's over paid and those that make more say it's fair.

    There are publications that are available that can be used to give guidance as to what is fair.

    They take into account geographical location, congregational size, church budget, education, benefits and other data.

    Here's one, although I believe the church I attend uses a different one.
    http://www.ministryaccounting.peachhost.com/CompensationHndbk.htm

    Rob
     
  9. TaterTot

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    I think for his education, he is doing well.
     
  10. North Carolina Tentmaker

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    I would agree with Tater Tot, sounds like he has done well for himself.

    I have been fussed at before for bringing secular management techniques into church management, but I believe good management is good management. If he was running a business instead of a church, most business owners would agree that any increase in salary should be tied to an increase in revenue. I don’t see why we can’t apply this to the church. I have seen pastor’s salaries that are stated exactly that way; they get paid a fixed percentage of the offering.
     
  11. North Carolina Tentmaker

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    Here is a quote on the subject of pastor's salaries I found at Crown financial ministries

    http://www.crown.org/pastorscorner/Article.asp?ID=4

     
  12. TaterTot

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    , but I believe good management is good management.

    Tentmaker, I agree!!!
     
  13. Deacon

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    A salary based on a fixed percentage of offering...that would encourage a pastor to preach sermons that would tickle the ears rather than convict towards change.

    I have the same feelings about the churchs only require a 50% vote against the pastor to remove them.

    It requires the pastor to walk a straight and narrow walk between pleasing people and doing what God might want him do within the congregation.

    Rob
     
  14. I'm4Given

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    Not a Pastor.

    We are in S.W. Ark. We have about 200 - 250 on Sunday Morning. Our Pastor makes 54000.00 plus
    perks. He has a PHD. Youth Pastor makes 36000.00 plus perks. He has No Degree.

    Just info on what others are making in the same general region of the country.
     
  15. PastorSBC1303

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    I think this pastor has done well for himself.

    I think a pastor should be paid according to the average of the other men in the church. Just my opinion.
     
  16. insuranceman

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    Check out the new SBC financial website www.guidestone.org. You can research pastoral salaries and benefits based on the size of a church.
     
  17. Phillip

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    Since it is a country church, he is probably in the top 10% (or better). Remember, you have to include the house, his gasoline (not included in salary), property taxes, and insurance, which none show up on the amount. This would put his salary way over 50K--then add the fact that most of that is tax free. Not bad for an associate degree.

    I agree that paying according to other salaries is good. It keeps the pastor at the secular level, which (in the past) was all too often lower than typical secular salaries. I certainly can't say that I blame him for taking it---but, he certainly pushes his people to give it to him.
     
  18. Pastor Larry

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    Just the raw numbers look a little low to me, but I don't know what the cost of living is there, what is family, background, age, and experience are.

    His attitude may be a different issue however.
     
  19. Dr. Bob

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    Out here in Wyoming a total package of 40k-45k would be normal for Baptists. This would be housing allowance or $7.5k less cash if in a parsonage with utilities.

    SBC pay higher and have annuity/retirement and better health package. My son looked at 45k as a youth/music man in our local SBC church.

    Typical Christian Church/Lutheran, etc would be 60k.

    BTW, I get about 10k from our new church and from my sending church and supplement it bi-vocationally.
     
  20. Brother Ian

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    Not a pastor, but a minister and member of our church financial team.

    Seems he is well compensated for the size church and his educational background.

    I find it odd he thinks his worth is based on what he makes. This is cerainly not the case.
     

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