Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. This time should be considered part of his work for the church, not something he should do in his spare time. Copy and paste this link to subscribe to Sean's PIR ministry newsletter. In larger churches, that information is kept private. send your pastor on a sabbatical for free! Pastors there earn an average annual salary of $66,760. Additionally, many bivocational pastors have two part-time jobs that offer no benefits and no vacation. The average church size in America is 89 adults. The average annual salary for a Southern Baptist church pastor, was $46,000 in the same period, according to the salary compilation website Payscale.Housing is often provided free of charge as part of an overall compensation package. Payscale lists the overall Christian worker salary as $ 43,000, but breaks down their guide on average salaries for pastors and staff. Pastors that work for congregations without the resources to pay a suitable salary sometimes opt to get an additional job. Compute the pastor's cash salary. In this case, they would do better to raise the pastor’s salary rather than paying for benefits that are not much benefit. As a third-generation pastor, he loves to serve pastors in the areas of personal soul care, leadership, and consulting and workshops for churches or leadership teams. The size of a congregation will be the greatest determining factor for the church’s budget. Often, the budget is presented with a line item that groups all staff and support staff salaries/expenses/benefits into one line item. Kelly Tanner has been writing since 2009. 9 Principles for Creating an Annual Budget in a Small Church. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. Please recognize that if your pastor has to raise his own support, this will take a substantial amount of time every week. The new research on church staff salaries and budgets is amazing. Salary Calculator. Large congregations with multiple staff can afford to pay pastors better than a church of forty that is struggling to survive. This allows the pastor to do the preaching and shepherding of the campus church while much of the administration and programs are handled by the large church. Following the Synod’s guidelines for salary and other compensation and benefits really helped our church council make proper financial decisions. Salaries of pastors and other church staff are dependent on the size of the congregation and its budget. The most basic component of church staff compensation is salary. Churches often struggle to determine pay levels for their pastors and staff. Use that number to determine a yearly salary – this amount should be the minimum your church will pay (if possible). Pastors are often reimbursed for expenses such as clothing, gasoline, travel and entertainment. In other words, in an example where the pastor should be paid $100,000, you want a range of $90,000 – $110,000, not a range of $50,000 to $150,000. It can be a great partnership when carefully planned. Congregational churches are autonomous, and the decision to hire a pastor is made within the congregation. A study conducted in 1999 by the Hartford Institute for religious research found that pastors of congregations in connectional denominations earned 15 percent more than pastors of congregational churches. Copyright 2020 Leaf Group Ltd. / Leaf Group Media, All Rights Reserved. These situations would account for the lower end of the national average (creating the overall average pastor salary of $49,837 ). Pastors should have a cash salary that meets the physical needs of the family independent of the wife having to work. Megachurches with thousands of members pay their pastors the highest salaries, while small churches with fewer than 100 members pay the least. Visit PayScale to research pastor salaries by city, experience, skill, employer and more. Most churches who can afford to pay benefits offer health insurance and/or retirement. Invest in Your Pastor's Joy for the Good of the Church. As in zero to one hundred percent.” When we take church size into account, it makes sense that smaller churches will have to spend a larger portion of their budget to pay a full-time pastor. Independent, nondenominational churches with large congregations also aid smaller churches through mission programs. Thom Rainer says that it takes a ratio of 76:1 – meaning an average weekly attendance of 76 is the minimum needed to pay one full-time staff member. These options are less than ideal and may affect the church’s ability to fulfill its mission. It is ultimately up to the pastor to make sure his/her needs are communicated. The Trump administration sparked an outcry this spring by allowing churches to apply for COVID-19 relief funds set aside for small businesses. is that income? That means in 2019, the pastor’s salary should be just over $48,000 to have equal value. Learn how your comment data is processed. Ninety percent of churches in the United States have less than 350 people attend each week; 64 percent have less than 200. Below are some articles to help you in your research. It seems to me that there are competing values here. In January 2019, it was almost 234. The Christian publication "Outreach Magazine" publishes an annual list of the largest church congregations in the country. In some cases, this is one church with two separate memberships because they represent two denominations under one roof. I do not recommend lowering the amount of pay because of a housing allowance. Church polity also impacts the size of pastors’ salaries. Small Church and Pastor is not paid a salary. Otherwise, you will be asking your pastor to live on less value. Since the vast majority of churches in the U.S. are small, the overall compensation package for Protestant pastors is low when compared with teachers and social workers. A church pays their pastor a salary of $34,000 in 2000. Thom Rainer says that the average staffing costs among all churches has dropped from 54 percent to 49 percent in recent years. When a church chooses or elects a pastor, it is their sole responsibility to provide some type of compensation for that pastor. The housing allowance issue has the potential to be a big problem for small churches. In my experience, it is common practice in smaller churches for the pastor’s salary to be public information. The consumer price index for the Midwest region in January 2000 was almost 165. The average salary for a Pastor is $50,904 per year in Texas. If a church can’t afford to pay a full-time pastor’s salary and benefits, they may consider some creative options. For most small churches, this means they will not be able to pay their pastor the double honor that he may deserve (1 Timothy 5:17-18). Salary; United Methodist Church Pastor salaries - 23 salaries reported: $45,051 / yrLife.Church Pastor salaries - 13 salaries reported: $50,850 / yrPresbyterian Church USA Pastor salaries - 7 salaries reported: $54,580 / yrEagle Brook Church Pastor salaries - 6 salaries … Many bivocational pastors would disagree with me, but I’ve seen too many burn out to believe this is healthy. Pastoral Staff Salaries. Salary ranges can vary widely depending on many important factors, including education, certifications, additional skills, the number of years you have spent in your profession. A free inside look at Life.Church salary trends based on 312 salaries wages for 168 jobs at Life.Church. Some churches offer a housing allowance or a parsonage. Connectional denominations, such as United Methodist and Lutheran, are governed by centralized leadership. The job site Indeed.com reported an average annual compensation of $43,750 to $48,449 per year for a senior Southern Baptist church pastor in October 2020. How is the housing treated? Many may have to significantly raise their pastor’s salary or buy a house to serve as a parsonage. In January each year the denomination requests salary information from all ordained ministers of the Word serving a congregation full-time. I am curious about the future of the pastor’s housing allowance as we maintained a modern parsonage. Whatever amount you determine is generous but not too risky. The God Ask by Steve Shadrach and Friend Raising by Betty J. Barnett are great resources for how to make this work in today’s culture. Pastor Salary Guidelines. For example, the North American Mission Board, which is part of the Southern Baptist Convention, supports pastors and mission personnel that plant new churches. The Rev. Tanner has studied at Oklahoma City Community College. According to a Duke Divinity School study, connectional churches—such as Presbyterian or Lutheran—pay their pastors more than congregational churches, such as Baptist or United Church of Christ.. Does the church own a parsonage? Fewer than 60 percent of churches give their pastor a cost of living increase each year. The average Pastor salary in the United States is $98,420 as of November 25, 2020, but the range typically falls between $80,880 and $111,536. Pastors of small congregations are usually responsible for a broader range of duties than pastors of larger congregations. For those working at megachurches, or churches over 2,000 members, salaries can reach six-figures. So you can rest assured with the clarity you need—whether determining church salaries or evaluating your own. A study conducted by LifeWay Research in 2008 concluded that church membership has the greatest impact on pastors’ salaries in the Southern Baptist Convention. We offer a comprehensive outline on compensation ideas for pastors and things to consider. ... Thom, I’ve been in full time ministry for 12 years, 8 as a pastor. This example is just an illustration, of course; there are more factors to consider (local economy, housing market, etc.). If your pastor is bivocational, be sure he is getting sabbath rest and time alone with God for his own spiritual nourishment. This means that the church can designate a portion of his salary as housing allowance, and whatever he uses as qualified housing expenses will be tax-free. According to the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Statistics, the median income for clergy in May 2009 was $46,960 and the range of incomes was $22,940 to $75,320. A church that is cheap with their pastor will suffer the consequences. This amount can be whatever percentage of his total salary he will use, but it may be wise to keep it under 50 percent to avoid an audit by the IRS. Denominations with national organizations usually offer affordable health insurance, life insurance, and retirement planning. https://mailchi.mp/3c5a9b6d41f5/nemeceknews. Each church, no matter its size, should do everything in their power to ensure that their pastor is fully supplied. That’s a great point. Nearly 80 percent of pastors serve in congregations with fewer than 200 people, and 55 percent have fewer than 100 people in their church. I serve in a small church, 140ish in Sunday School, in rural tennessee. Many denominations have guidelines for compensation but independent churches usually have to figure it out on their own. Churches are not permitted to pay the SECA tax for their pastors; however, most churches assist ministers by providing them with a Social Security/Medicare tax offset of at least 50% of the SECA tax. As a small church, it’s hard to know what hires to make, and deciding on a salary for those hires makes the decision making process even more difficult. The median annual budget of churches surveyed was $125,000. In my previous article, I explained that how you pay your pastor is a gospel issue that has impact on the effectiveness of your church and its mission. The pastor will see that he is being treated with contempt and that the church is not properly honoring God. He simply cannot do everything a full-time pastor can do. Additionally, not all pastors have a personality that will work with these options. A church that is not obedient to God cannot expect God’s blessing on their mission. For further guidance on helping you plan your staffing budget, try Guidestone’s church compensation guides and templates for financial planning. My compensation package is in the 60-65k range. He also writes a blog called The Pastor’s Soul (pastorsoul.com) and is a co-host for the Hope Renewed podcast. Church consultant Tony Morgan says, “Our consulting team generally encourages churches to try to stay in the range of 45 to 55 percent of total budget.” So, what percentage of your total budget should your church spend on staff salary? Praying that the current rulings get reversed and the tax provision is maintained. Visit PayScale to research pastor salaries by city, experience, skill, employer and more. (see footnote) However, the amount of a pastor’s salary is only one dimension of reasonable compensation; the manner in which they are paid is of just as much interest in evaluating compensation from a legal … Click To Tweet, Sean Nemecek is the West Michigan Regional Director for Pastor-in-Residence Ministries (pirministires.org). They offer no guaranteed salary, but the people of the church give toward his financial needs. If, however, the church only has forty people, they will probably need to spend 55 to 65 percent of their total budget – anything above 60 percent is very risky. It’s a potential mess. Big Ambitions, Small Church (Schirle – 1999) Church at History’s Hinge (Anderson – 1994) Dynamics of Small Church Ministry (Koessler – 1992) Jubilee Year of The Rural Church Program (Farley – 2004) Lessons from the small Church (Sanchez – 2004) Nature and Characteristics of the Small Membership Church (Bob I. Johnson – 2004). What was a livable wage becomes sub-standard over time. He gets 'love offerings' only. If so, this will allow you to reduce the percentage of your budget dedicated to staff pay. This provides an equivalent of Social Security/Medicare taxes that the church would pay on behalf of a lay church worker. Acts 18:3 describes Paul as a tentmaker, so it seems some of his income came from working in the marketplace. Over 1,200 members – $48,915 to $79,900. Whether all or part of his income must come from another job, the bivocational pastor will need the congregation to fill in some gaps. The church would be wise to find ways to give their pastor extra time off, maybe even take up a special collection or raise funds to send the pastor and his family on a vacation every year. Small church expert Karl Vaters says, “While 45 to 55 percent of budget going to staff is healthy for mid-size to larger churches, the range is much wider for small churches. The Money Series: How Much Should Churches Spend on Their Staff? Their pastor should see that they are being generous (Galatians 6:6-8) and not stingy. A pastor who works in a part-time capacity may need to assign duties such as organization of church functions, maintenance of the building and record keeping to laypersons in the church. Other churches have become satellite campuses of a larger church. You may expect this calculation simply reflects the area of the country with the largest church congregations, but it doesn't. Every bivocational pastor that I know is seriously overworked. One of the most overlooked parts of budgeting for a pastor’s pay is the cost of inflation. I have heard of churches that expect a pastor to raise his own financial support from both within and outside the congregation. Financial pressure is one of the main sources of stress among pastors. Pastors of small congregations are usually responsible for a broader range of duties than pastors of larger congregations. This tax benefit for pastors is being challenged in the courts, and churches may be forced to rethink their budgets in the near future. 50 percent of pastors receive compensation under $50,000 per year, even though many of them have advanced degrees. However, be sure you have budgeted for the upkeep of the building and the tax implications for the pastor. ChurchSalary features the largest church-specific compensation database available anywhere. Evangelical Covenant Church Budget Guidelines (. Annual Salary Monthly Pay Weekly Pay Hourly Wage; New York: $44,520: $3,710: $856: … and should we be recording the amounts of the 'love offerings? Our pastor search committee has found a candidate who they believe is right for our church; however, salary has become a thorny issue among the church members. If your pastor has to buy or rent his home, then he qualifies for a ministerial housing allowance. While ZipRecruiter is seeing annual salaries as high as $72,500 and as low as $12,000, the majority of Pastor salaries currently range between $22,500 (25th percentile) to $49,000 (75th percentile) with top earners (90th percentile) making $60,000 annually across the United States. Guide to Negotiating Pastor Compensation | 6 4. Both Jesus and Paul had ministries that were supported by others (Luke 8:2-3; Philippians 4:18). Salary ranges can vary widely depending on the city and many other important factors, including education, certifications, additional skills, the number of years you have spent in your profession. Many churches today are merging with another church in their area so that the combined congregation can support a full-time pastor. Here are five things to consider as you plan your pastor’s salary. The average Pastor salary in South Carolina is $92,121 as of November 25, 2020, but the range typically falls between $75,704 and $104,397. In this article, we will explore how much you should pay your pastor and some of the guidelines you can use to do it well. When you have determined the percentage of your budget available for the pastor’s pay, you will be able to tell if you can afford a full-time pastor or not. Salaries of such pastors, however, typically reflect not so much what they do as the number of people in regular attendance and their economic circumstances, which affects their ability to give. All reported amounts are stated in the currencies of the respective countries. The wise and discerning church board will do all it can to create as tight a range as possible to dial in where their pastor should be paid. Because these worlds are so vastly different, we will focus on the larger group – the small church. According to Ed Stetzer, director of LifeWay Research, “each additional weekly attendee at a church increases, on average, a full-time senior pastor's annual compensation (salary and housing) by $34. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Members of the congregation may help by offering to babysit, donating air miles or time share properties, providing tickets to entertainment events or supplying services in areas of expertise. These results are then compiled and analyzed to provide information regarding compensation practices generally followed by Canadian and U.S. churches. No one knew how much the pastor received (FYI, I don’t recommend this). So, how does a small church determine how much to pay their pastor? Six Surprises About Church Staff Salaries and Budgets, Get your personalized salary and compensation report, 2018 Southern Baptist Convention Compensation Study. That means in 2019, the pastor’s salary should be just over $48,000 to have equal value. The average salary for a pastor is $43,968 per year in the United States. Years ago, I lived in a small Montana community with a Lutheran church. Salary is a contention point for every organization, but this is especially the case for churches. This means that if the church didn’t keep up with inflation, the pastor’s salary would have almost $14,000 less in perceived value. Pastoral Care, Inc provides ideas for compensation for your minister here. The pastor we are considering has some concerns about the pay package we wish to provide. Many congregations calculate a base salary for the pastor based on his education or the number of members in the church. Each additional church member increases compensation on average almost $6.”. It is common for pastors of extremely small congregations to earn little-to-no salary. According to the Evangelical Covenant Church, a healthy congregation with a weekly average attendance of 150 people should spend 40 to 50 percent of their total budget on staff salary. A small congregational church can often receive aid from its denominational organization to pay pastors an appropriate salary. She has worked in the securities industry since 1989 and has been employed by the same Oklahoma City brokerage firm for the span of her career. Most denominations recommend that benefits be calculated separately from salary. Architectural and ... $137,720/year 2012-2016 -1.1%. There are two important considerations to keep in mind with respect to staff salaries—the amount of the salary, and the use of "salary reduction agreements." Before joining PIR, Sean served as a pastor in a local church for almost 18 years. They often perform menial tasks that the pastor of a larger church would assign to another paid staff member. This may not eliminate all the financial stress your pastor faces, but it can ensure your church is doing everything they can to help. If these numbers are correct, then a large percentage of American churches will struggle to pay a full-time pastor. Check to see if your denominational headquarters offers salary guidelines for pastors. Consider this example: A church pays their pastor a salary of $34,000 in 2000. When these five factors are considered, the church will have a good picture of what it can pay. how you pay your pastor is a gospel issue. Learn about salaries, benefits, salary satisfaction and where you could earn the most. Each church, no matter its size, should do everything in their power to ensure that their pastor is fully supplied. So each church, no matter its size, should do everything in their power to ensure that their pastor is fully supplied (Philippians 4:18). Salaries posted anonymously by Life.Church employees. Some church staff members even make below minimum wage—including child-care workers (14.8% are paid below minimum wage) and custodians (6.3% are paid below minimum wage). It’s hard to minister in this context without becoming resentful. In January 2019, it was almost 234. Check with your denomination about the plans that they offer. In the middle 1960’s as a young accountant I began helping my pastor prepare his state and federal tax returns. In one church, they placed a black box at the back of the sanctuary and the pastor had the only key. My denomination offers a pension plan that performs very well compared to most, but it requires that the church contribute a minimum of 6 percent of the pastor’s total salary. The living wage calculator will help you determine what hourly wage your pastor will need to live in your state and county based on his family size and how many people in the family are working. A pastor’s leadership builds a church’s ministry, and a pastor’s compensation reflects in part a church’s commitment to quality ministry. Do not calculate a living wage and reduce it by taking the cost of benefits from that amount. “Christianity Today” offers some creative tips to help small congregations improve its pastor’s benefit package: Offer an extra week of vacation, a sabbatical or trips to retreats and conventions. Needless to say I was surprised at his meager salary, lack of fringe benefits and his inability to provide for his future financially. And those in ministry aren't always sure how their pay compares. Today, tentmaking is often used to describe someone who gets all their income from a marketplace job so they can minister at no cost to the church. The consumer price index for the Midwest region in January 2000 was almost 165. So if your church has to choose one of these options, make sure you honor your pastor in many other ways. The average salary for a Pastor at Baptist Church is $47,772. As a general rule in 2019, most churches should plan on between $10,000 and $20,000 in benefits expenses per employee (remember, that’s on top of salary). They require making some hard choices and asking the pastor to make serious sacrifices. This is out of reach for many small churches. The average salary for a Pastor is $50,145. The Full List of Church Staff & Pastor Salaries We have less than a hundred attendees for Sunday morning worship, although slightly more on the church roll. Inflation rises between 1 and 4 percent every year – it rarely goes down (that would be deflation). Price, who applied for and received between $150,000 and $200,000 in small-business stimulus funds for his church, said the program accomplished its goal, at least in his case. Now factor in the unique housing situation of your church. If not, your church is likely doing damage to your pastor and his family. Department of Labor: Occupational and Employment Wages Clergy, 2009, Christianity Today: What to Pay the Pastor. I suspect most will have to ask their current full-time pastor to become bivocational. The home he resides in is owned by the Church, and the Church pays the City utilities and the property taxes. A $1,000 stipend can quickly dwindle down to $600 after federal and state income taxes and SECA (Social Security taxes). Post was not sent - check your email addresses! Remember, this living wage calculator does not include benefits (more on that later). Pest Control Workers $34,370/year /> 2012-2016 +6.5%. 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