Key Trends Driving Church Change

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This week’s Ministry Briefing looks at several key trends that are driving change in the church. Thom Rainer comments on an extensive handbook for church compensation and notes several trends that every church should note:

  • Lead pastor salaries increase based on church attendance.
  • Youth pastor salaries generally do not increase based on attendance.
  • Only half of pastors have received a raise in the past year.

While it’s encouraging to see many churches matching their compensation packages with the amount of responsibility placed on their lead pastors, it’s worth asking whether youth pastors at larger churches are being fairly compensated for all of the work on their plates.

It’s especially concerning to see that half of pastors have not received a raise since expenses and costs generally trend upward and salaries must increase at least incrementally in order to keep up. Since many pastors are already concerned about their finances, this adds additional pressure on them.

One way that pastors can minimize the pressure they face each week is to take Thom Rainer’s advice about sermon preparation and set aside Monday as a sermon prep day. By working on their sermons early in the week they’ll alleviate some pressure and give themselves plenty of time to sharpen their sermons.

Most importantly, as weeks take unexpected turns and new challenges arise, pastors will benefit from having their sermons wrapped up before the week kicks into full swing.

Sermons are one way to reach people who attend church, but many ministers and pastors are considering ways they can reach those who wouldn’t necessarily attend a church service. One minister in New Jersey found that many people took him up on his offer of drive through ashes on Ash Wednesday.

Rev. Rich Wisniewski, who administered the ashes, sees the drive-through ashes as an effective way to adapt his ministry to the people he is trying to reach.

What changes are on the horizon for your ministry?

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