"How much should we pay?"

Occasionally I receive phone calls from church members who are charged with personnel responsibilities within the church. This time of the year, those calls are more frequent as churches try to determine the appropriate salary or compensation package for their church staff. Churches ought to seriously consider this matter annually.

Some material you read is NOT helpful, because the averages, high and low may be on such a small sampling that the results are not truly representative. Most reports reflect only the churches responding voluntarily, not a true random sample across the entire segment. And regardless of what reports may reflect, few situations are the same.

Each situation must be looked at in its own context. The cost of living, the expectations of the church, the distance from required ministry points, the size of family, the educational level and years of experiences differ with each church situation. What is the average income level of professionals in the church? Particularly with college degree and graduate degree? What quality of clothing, car, and home do you expect him and his family to possess? Do you provide the necessary compensation to allow his fitting into the larger community? Does the family have the means to participate in community events expected of her leaders?

There are arrangements of the budget items related to personnel that prove helpful to the church staff which will mean more income to the minister while costing the church no more, such as reimbursable expenses, appropriate timely designations for housing, and expense items separated from compensation.

Remember, staff persons are called to your church to minister in Christ’s Name. The church should responsibly care for the staff so they can perform their spiritual ministry without undue hindrances created by worldly, material burdens. Of course they need your spiritual, prayerful, cooperative support as well, but the focus of this article relates to the financial, material responsibility the church has toward the church staff. Budget time is coming. What is the right thing to do?

David Al Myers

Last Published: October 4, 2004 2:17 PM
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