While it’s true that a more experienced pastor can expect a larger salary in some circumstances, age isn’t the most important factor in determining a salary. A church’s overall budget is the most important factor in determining how a pastor is compensated. In addition, the budget is often linked to the size of the church, so budget and church size are most important, although with all things being equal, 50-year-old pastor can expect to make 14% more than a 40-year-old pastor and a 60-year-old will top the pastor in his/her 40’s by 13%.
Why This Story Matters to Church Leaders
Church staff and board members need to have honest conversations about salary structures and expectations, so a look at current trends can help with these important discussions.
- What are the costs of living in your area? While money isn’t the top reason why pastors leave the ministry, financial concerns can place significant stress on pastors and lead to additional problems at home. Salaries need to meet the living standard in your community.
- Do you have a plan for scaling pastoral compensation? A set plan for raise will remove uncertainty and future conflict. Setting up a plan with your board is essential for keeping pastors financially stable so they can focus on ministry.
- How will you handle a giving decline? Giving declines can happen if attendance dips or the economy drops off. Do you have a priority plan in place or reserves that can help in case of a shortfall?
Are there churches in your area that you can contact for comparable budgeting ideas?
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