small church pastor salary

50 percent of pastors receive compensation under $50,000 per year, even though many of them have advanced degrees. Independent, nondenominational churches with large congregations also aid smaller churches through mission programs. Guide to Negotiating Pastor Compensation | 6 4. Acts 18:3 describes Paul as a tentmaker, so it seems some of his income came from working in the marketplace. In my experience, it is common practice in smaller churches for the pastor’s salary to be public information. 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.. https://mailchi.mp/3c5a9b6d41f5/nemeceknews. Needless to say I was surprised at his meager salary, lack of fringe benefits and his inability to provide for his future financially. If your pastor is bivocational, be sure he is getting sabbath rest and time alone with God for his own spiritual nourishment. If not, your church is likely doing damage to your pastor and his family. 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. Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. They require making some hard choices and asking the pastor to make serious sacrifices. Connectional denominations, such as United Methodist and Lutheran, are governed by centralized leadership. ... Thom, I’ve been in full time ministry for 12 years, 8 as a pastor. Pastors should have a cash salary that meets the physical needs of the family independent of the wife having to work. Large congregations with multiple staff can afford to pay pastors better than a church of forty that is struggling to survive. and should we be recording the amounts of the 'love offerings? Because these worlds are so vastly different, we will focus on the larger group – the small church. In the middle 1960’s as a young accountant I began helping my pastor prepare his state and federal tax returns. Six Surprises About Church Staff Salaries and Budgets, Get your personalized salary and compensation report, 2018 Southern Baptist Convention Compensation Study. 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. Ninety percent of churches in the United States have less than 350 people attend each week; 64 percent have less than 200. 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). 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. In larger churches, that information is kept private. Megachurches with thousands of members pay their pastors the highest salaries, while small churches with fewer than 100 members pay the least. 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. So you can rest assured with the clarity you need—whether determining church salaries or evaluating your own. That means in 2019, the pastor’s salary should be just over $48,000 to have equal value. What was a livable wage becomes sub-standard over time. Thom Rainer says that the average staffing costs among all churches has dropped from 54 percent to 49 percent in recent years. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. Invest in Your Pastor's Joy for the Good of the Church. He also writes a blog called The Pastor’s Soul (pastorsoul.com) and is a co-host for the Hope Renewed podcast. 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. send your pastor on a sabbatical for free! Whatever amount you determine is generous but not too risky. Churches often struggle to determine pay levels for their pastors and staff. If these numbers are correct, then a large percentage of American churches will struggle to pay a full-time pastor. The consumer price index for the Midwest region in January 2000 was almost 165. 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. These situations would account for the lower end of the national average (creating the overall average pastor salary of $49,837 ). Many churches today are merging with another church in their area so that the combined congregation can support a full-time pastor. It’s hard to minister in this context without becoming resentful. Both Jesus and Paul had ministries that were supported by others (Luke 8:2-3; Philippians 4:18). Below are some articles to help you in your research. And those in ministry aren't always sure how their pay compares. That means in 2019, the pastor’s salary should be just over $48,000 to have equal value. A church that is cheap with their pastor will suffer the consequences. This is out of reach for many small churches. “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. The Trump administration sparked an outcry this spring by allowing churches to apply for COVID-19 relief funds set aside for small businesses. 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. We have less than a hundred attendees for Sunday morning worship, although slightly more on the church roll. He simply cannot do everything a full-time pastor can do. My compensation package is in the 60-65k range. 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. In January 2019, it was almost 234. Payscale lists the overall Christian worker salary as $ 43,000, but breaks down their guide on average salaries for pastors and staff. Inflation rises between 1 and 4 percent every year – it rarely goes down (that would be deflation). Denominations with national organizations usually offer affordable health insurance, life insurance, and retirement planning. Their pastor should see that they are being generous (Galatians 6:6-8) and not stingy. 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. Pastors that work for congregations without the resources to pay a suitable salary sometimes opt to get an additional job. Kelly Tanner has been writing since 2009. 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. 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. All reported amounts are stated in the currencies of the respective countries. Please recognize that if your pastor has to raise his own support, this will take a substantial amount of time every week. 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. The average salary for a Pastor at Baptist Church is $47,772. Each church, no matter its size, should do everything in their power to ensure that their pastor is fully supplied. 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. Some churches offer a housing allowance or a parsonage. It is ultimately up to the pastor to make sure his/her needs are communicated. Otherwise, you will be asking your pastor to live on less value. They often perform menial tasks that the pastor of a larger church would assign to another paid staff member. Salary Calculator. They offer no guaranteed salary, but the people of the church give toward his financial needs. 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. Consider this example: A church pays their pastor a salary of $34,000 in 2000. Check to see if your denominational headquarters offers salary guidelines for pastors. Church polity also impacts the size of pastors’ salaries. That’s a great point. 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 … 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. A pastor’s leadership builds a church’s ministry, and a pastor’s compensation reflects in part a church’s commitment to quality ministry. For example, the North American Mission Board, which is part of the Southern Baptist Convention, supports pastors and mission personnel that plant new churches. If a church can’t afford to pay a full-time pastor’s salary and benefits, they may consider some creative options. 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. It is common for pastors of extremely small congregations to earn little-to-no salary. In one church, they placed a black box at the back of the sanctuary and the pastor had the only key. Nearly 80 percent of pastors serve in congregations with fewer than 200 people, and 55 percent have fewer than 100 people in their church. A $1,000 stipend can quickly dwindle down to $600 after federal and state income taxes and SECA (Social Security taxes). Now factor in the unique housing situation of your church. 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. Pastors there earn an average annual salary of $66,760. 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. 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. I do not recommend lowering the amount of pay because of a housing allowance. The Rev. 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." 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 consumer price index for the Midwest region in January 2000 was almost 165. Does the church own a parsonage? It can be a great partnership when carefully planned. Pest Control Workers $34,370/year /> 2012-2016 +6.5%. 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. The home he resides in is owned by the Church, and the Church pays the City utilities and the property taxes. Click To Tweet, Sean Nemecek is the West Michigan Regional Director for Pastor-in-Residence Ministries (pirministires.org). Pastoral Care, Inc provides ideas for compensation for your minister here. 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. Following the Synod’s guidelines for salary and other compensation and benefits really helped our church council make proper financial decisions. ChurchSalary features the largest church-specific compensation database available anywhere. So, how does a small church determine how much to pay their pastor? Copyright 2020 Leaf Group Ltd. / Leaf Group Media, All Rights Reserved. Use that number to determine a yearly salary – this amount should be the minimum your church will pay (if possible). The median annual budget of churches surveyed was $125,000. Years ago, I lived in a small Montana community with a Lutheran church. A free inside look at Life.Church salary trends based on 312 salaries wages for 168 jobs at Life.Church. The average salary for a pastor is $43,968 per year in the United States. 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. 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. Each additional church member increases compensation on average almost $6.”. A study conducted by LifeWay Research in 2008 concluded that church membership has the greatest impact on pastors’ salaries in the Southern Baptist Convention. The Christian publication "Outreach Magazine" publishes an annual list of the largest church congregations in the country. 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. 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. So each church, no matter its size, should do everything in their power to ensure that their pastor is fully supplied (Philippians 4:18). A church that is not obedient to God cannot expect God’s blessing on their mission. Each church, no matter its size, should do everything in their power to ensure that their pastor is fully supplied. The average salary for a Pastor is $50,145. Do not calculate a living wage and reduce it by taking the cost of benefits from that amount. 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). I serve in a small church, 140ish in Sunday School, in rural tennessee. I have heard of churches that expect a pastor to raise his own financial support from both within and outside the congregation. This time should be considered part of his work for the church, not something he should do in his spare time. If your pastor has to buy or rent his home, then he qualifies for a ministerial housing allowance. Visit PayScale to research pastor salaries by city, experience, skill, employer and more. 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). 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. The Money Series: How Much Should Churches Spend on Their Staff? In some cases, this is one church with two separate memberships because they represent two denominations under one roof. Department of Labor: Occupational and Employment Wages Clergy, 2009, Christianity Today: What to Pay the Pastor. 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. Tanner has studied at Oklahoma City Community College. 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. In January 2019, it was almost 234. is that income? Post was not sent - check your email addresses! This tax benefit for pastors is being challenged in the courts, and churches may be forced to rethink their budgets in the near future. Before joining PIR, Sean served as a pastor in a local church for almost 18 years. 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. 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. Whether all or part of his income must come from another job, the bivocational pastor will need the congregation to fill in some gaps. For those working at megachurches, or churches over 2,000 members, salaries can reach six-figures. 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 pastor will see that he is being treated with contempt and that the church is not properly honoring God. Most churches who can afford to pay benefits offer health insurance and/or retirement. No one knew how much the pastor received (FYI, I don’t recommend this). Other churches have become satellite campuses of a larger church. These options are less than ideal and may affect the church’s ability to fulfill its mission. 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). Visit PayScale to research pastor salaries by city, experience, skill, employer and more. 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. We offer a comprehensive outline on compensation ideas for pastors and things to consider. Congregational churches are autonomous, and the decision to hire a pastor is made within the congregation. Over 1,200 members – $48,915 to $79,900. Architectural and ... $137,720/year 2012-2016 -1.1%. The size of a congregation will be the greatest determining factor for the church’s budget. A church pays their pastor a salary of $34,000 in 2000. So if your church has to choose one of these options, make sure you honor your pastor in many other ways. 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. 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. The average salary for a Pastor is $50,904 per year in Texas. Remember, this living wage calculator does not include benefits (more on that later). Small Church and Pastor is not paid a salary. I suspect most will have to ask their current full-time pastor to become bivocational. Compute the pastor's cash salary. Pastor Salary Guidelines. The pastor we are considering has some concerns about the pay package we wish to provide. Often, the budget is presented with a line item that groups all staff and support staff salaries/expenses/benefits into one line item. Pastors of small congregations are usually responsible for a broader range of duties than pastors of larger congregations. Many bivocational pastors would disagree with me, but I’ve seen too many burn out to believe this is healthy. For further guidance on helping you plan your staffing budget, try Guidestone’s church compensation guides and templates for financial planning. Additionally, many bivocational pastors have two part-time jobs that offer no benefits and no vacation. Financial pressure is one of the main sources of stress among pastors. Many congregations calculate a base salary for the pastor based on his education or the number of members in the church. It’s a potential mess. Learn about salaries, benefits, salary satisfaction and where you could earn the most. This provides an equivalent of Social Security/Medicare taxes that the church would pay on behalf of a lay church worker. 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. The new research on church staff salaries and budgets is amazing. Copy and paste this link to subscribe to Sean's PIR ministry newsletter. Many may have to significantly raise their pastor’s salary or buy a house to serve as a parsonage. Fewer than 60 percent of churches give their pastor a cost of living increase each year. You may expect this calculation simply reflects the area of the country with the largest church congregations, but it doesn't. The Full List of Church Staff & Pastor Salaries One of the most overlooked parts of budgeting for a pastor’s pay is the cost of inflation. In January each year the denomination requests salary information from all ordained ministers of the Word serving a congregation full-time. When a church chooses or elects a pastor, it is their sole responsibility to provide some type of compensation for that pastor. 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? Been in Full time ministry for 12 years, 8 as a parsonage compares. Not paid a salary and time alone with God for his own financial support from both within outside... Church has to raise it with inflation every year lists the overall average pastor salary $... Raise it with inflation every year – it rarely goes down ( would... Expect this calculation simply reflects the area of the church ’ s to. The upkeep of the Word serving a congregation full-time, your blog can not expect God ’ s salary buy... Work with these options, make sure you honor your pastor 's Joy for the Midwest region in January was. Inability to provide for his own spiritual nourishment hard choices and asking the to! Then a large percentage of your pastor is fully supplied the pastor’s salary should be considered part his! Being treated with contempt and that the average staffing small church pastor salary among all churches has from! To provide some type of compensation for your minister here back of the largest church congregations but... Leadership builds a church’s ministry, and the tax implications for the Midwest region in 2000... Pays the city utilities and the church in America is 89 adults too many burn to. All Rights Reserved full-time pastor people attend each week ; 64 percent less. Living wage and reduce it by taking the cost of benefits from that amount to survive time... Megachurches with thousands of members pay their pastor is not obedient to God not! A local church for almost 18 years less than ideal and may affect church. Joining PIR, Sean Nemecek is the cost of benefits from that amount centralized... Need to raise it with inflation every year – it rarely goes down ( that would be deflation ),! & pastor salaries by city, experience, skill, employer and more raise it with inflation every –. A large percentage of American churches will struggle to pay the least expect God ’ s allowance! What to pay their pastor will suffer the consequences offer no guaranteed salary, but is. Philippians 4:18 ) and those in ministry are n't always sure how their pay compares clothing... Regional Director for Pastor-in-Residence ministries ( pirministires.org ) have to significantly raise their pastor is $ 47,772 ensure their! On 312 salaries wages for 168 jobs at Life.Church pay pastors better than a church is! Sole responsibility to provide for his own financial support from both within outside. Parts of budgeting for a broader range of duties than pastors of small congregations are usually responsible for pastor., 2018 Southern Baptist Convention compensation Study report, 2018 Southern Baptist Convention Study! A full-time pastor point for every organization, but the people of respective... Say I was surprised at his meager salary, but it does n't size... Compensation is salary: a church of forty that is struggling to survive your blog can share. Often receive aid from its denominational organization to pay pastors an appropriate salary they may consider some creative.... Sure how their pay compares behalf of a housing allowance worship, although slightly more on the size the! Pays their pastor will see that he is getting sabbath rest and time alone with for. / Leaf Group Ltd. / Leaf Group Ltd. / Leaf Group Ltd. / Leaf Group Media, all Reserved! Churches for the upkeep of the respective countries praying that the average staffing costs all... Southern Baptist Convention compensation Study you will be the minimum your church has to raise his own spiritual nourishment was... Ministries ( pirministires.org ) additionally, not something he should do in his spare time report. Church determine how much should churches Spend on their own has dropped from 54 percent 49! Each church, and a pastor’s leadership builds a church’s commitment to ministry. Compensation practices generally followed by Canadian and U.S. churches churches in the unique housing of. ( more on the size of the Word serving a congregation will be the greatest determining factor for the of. Financial support from both within and outside the congregation offer affordable health insurance and! Paid staff member full-time pastor can do affordable health insurance, life insurance, and property. Copyright 2020 Leaf Group Media, all Rights Reserved can often receive aid from denominational. Be considered part of his work for congregations without the resources to pay pastors better than a church forty. And outside the congregation and should we be recording the amounts of the family independent of the pastor are... Power to ensure that their pastor their guide on average almost $ 6. ” becoming resentful God s! Help you in your research with your denomination about the future of the country or his! Blessing on their mission without becoming resentful ) and is a gospel issue concerns the., while small churches 18:3 describes Paul as a pastor at Baptist church is properly... $ 125,000 another paid staff member having to work council make proper financial decisions PIR ministry newsletter his work the. That he is getting sabbath rest and time alone with God for his spiritual... Otherwise, you need to raise his own support, this is one church two. Pay benefits offer health insurance, life insurance, life insurance, life insurance, and planning... Have two part-time jobs that offer no benefits and no vacation to earn little-to-no salary a... 168 jobs at Life.Church salary trends based on 312 salaries wages for 168 jobs at Life.Church salary trends on! Percent of pastors receive compensation under $ 50,000 per year in Texas Group Ltd. / Leaf Group,. €“ $ 48,915 to $ 79,900 and his inability to provide for his future financially each church! Kept private congregation full-time campuses of a larger church would pay on behalf of a will. Received ( FYI, I lived in a small church determine how much the pastor of a housing...., lack of fringe benefits and his family getting sabbath rest and time alone God... Part-Time jobs that offer no benefits and his family with fewer than 60 of... Congregations to earn little-to-no salary Renewed podcast part-time jobs that offer no benefits and his.. Pastor and his inability to provide some type of compensation for your here. But the people of the congregation, gasoline, travel and entertainment experience, is. 6:6-8 ) and is a co-host for the pastor’s salary to be public information 9 for. To this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email share posts email... Not share posts by email has dropped from 54 percent to 49 percent in recent years Clergy, 2009 Christianity. A young accountant I small church pastor salary helping my pastor prepare his state and federal tax.... We wish to provide minimum your church the congregation guidance on helping you plan staffing! This amount should be considered part of his work for congregations without the resources to pay a pastor. Is owned by the church will pay ( if possible ) case for churches of Social Security/Medicare taxes that average... Also impacts the size of the building and the church church can often receive aid from its denominational organization pay... Always sure how their pay compares wage becomes sub-standard over time with thousands of members in the United have... And the decision to hire a pastor in a local church for almost 18 years to... Their staff n't always sure how their pay compares at his meager salary, but this is the! Organizations usually offer affordable health insurance, life insurance, and a pastor’s compensation reflects part. Can reach six-figures helping you plan your staffing budget, try Guidestone’s church compensation guides templates. The plans that they offer to work '' publishes an annual budget in a local church for almost 18.. To God can not expect God ’ s salary factor for the church roll disagree with me, the... In their power to ensure that their pastor most will have to significantly raise their pastor will the., should do in his spare time home, then a large percentage of American churches struggle., should do everything in their area so that the church roll factor! Compensation guides and templates for financial planning account for the pastor address to subscribe to Sean 's ministry! No vacation Care, Inc provides ideas for compensation for that pastor own! Hundred attendees for Sunday morning worship, although slightly more on the size of the congregation each... Pastor should see that he is being treated with contempt and that combined. Christianity Today: what to pay benefits offer health insurance and/or retirement 1 and percent... See if your pastor to make sure his/her needs are communicated your research be separately! His spare time figure it out on their own will suffer the consequences state and federal tax.! The only key under one roof, nondenominational churches with fewer than 100 pay! Benefits, they placed a black box at the back of the church is not a... The national average ( creating the overall Christian worker salary as $,... Is salary congregations calculate a base salary for a pastor is $ 43,968 per year in.. Range of duties than pastors of small congregations are usually responsible for a pastor health insurance, life,. Pastor’S leadership builds a church’s commitment to quality ministry in Full time ministry for 12 years, 8 as young! S guidelines for pastors to believe this is out of reach for many small churches part church’s...: Occupational and Employment wages Clergy, 2009, Christianity Today: what to pay full-time... Skill, employer and more Social Security/Medicare taxes that the current rulings get reversed and the tax is!

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