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Staffing, Staffing, Start Here

It's been a long couple of years for the people of Long Hollow Baptist Church.  In May, 2013, their pastor, David Landrith, was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer.  He died in November of last year at the age of 51.

Choosing a new senior pastor is never easy, especially when your church is grieving. But Long Hollow is doing things right. In fact, they are doing something very well that many churches don't during a staff search: communication.

Here's what I think Long Hollow did right in their communication:

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Can a sex offender be the senior pastor of a local church? One church in Texas has just hired Claude Gilliland III to be their new pastor… the problem is… Gilliland is a registered sex offender. When the local newspaper started printing the names and pictures of local sex offenders, imagine the surprise when his picture was listed. Matt Steen and I talk about their thoughts on this story… how much grace should be offered… etc. sex offender

CLICK IMAGE TO WATCH Hiring a Sex Offender as Senior Pastor

(Length:  6 min 45 sec) Subscribe to MinistryBriefing on YouTube What do YOU think?  Leave a text or video comment here…
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The average pay of a senior pastor serving a Southern Baptist church in America for 2012 was $60,774.  That’s for pastors that live in church housing.  For those who don’t, the average is more like $72,840.  That doesn’t include cash payments that most pastors get as reimbursements (like for mileage, conference reimbursements, books, etc. That’s the synopsis from SBC Voices. LifeWay and GuideStone collaborate on the compensation survey. The  latest is available here. Thoughts? Does this strike you as high, low, or just right?
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I hate hearing stories like this.  Please pray for the Hunter Family, both Isaac and Rhonda, their children, and the Summit Church.  Here is part of the story from the Orlando Sentinel: Before his resignation last week as pastor of Summit Church, Isaac Hunter was in a downward spiral of violence, drug and alcohol abuse, and suicidal thoughts, according to a domestic violence petition filed by his wife Rhonda Hunter last Friday. “I currently fear for my life and the lives of our three children. Isaac is unstable and has demonstrated erratic behavior, alcohol abuse, and fits of rage,” Rhonda Hunter wrote in a petition for a temporary restraining order against her husband. The same day it was submitted, her petition was granted by Circuit Judge Roger J. McDonald in an order that bars Isaac Hunter from the couple’s Winter Park home, his church, his children’s schools and his wife’s work place. Isaac Hunter, 35, is the middle child of prominent evangelist Joel Hunter, senior pastor of Northland, A Church Distributed in Longwood. Isaac Hunter’s resignation, after admitting an affair with a church staff member, came on Nov. 28, one day after his 13th wedding anniversary. Rhonda Hunter, 35, spelled out acts of violence and abuse that began in Feburary 2011 and culminated on Nov. 25 when Isaac left their house with two guns and called three days later requesting to see his three children “one last time.” “I am afraid that his ‘one last time’ will result in the death of our children — going out in a blaze of glory,” Rhonda Hunter wrote in her petition. The couple has two daughters and a son, ages 11, 9 and 5. Hunter’s family later found an undated suicide note on his computer and instructions to Summit Church on what should be done “If I die” written sometime before his 35th birthday on April 26, according to court documents. “I would very much like to be remembered as a person who loved his children, his parents, his brothers, and his best friends — well, while I could,” the suicide note said. “I fear I will love them better in my absence. As I have become what I never wished to be, a burden on those I love the most.” Calls to Rhonda Hunter were not returned. Isaac Hunter could not be reached. Joel Hunter was unavailable for comment, a spokesman for the church said. // Read more at Isaac Hunter domestic violence: Isaac Hunter’s wife files domestic violence petition Few understand the pressure and spiritual attack that many in ministry face.  That appears to be the case in Orlando.  Satan has won a victory here.  How he did it, I don’t know… but I’m sure it’s wrecking this family and this church. Please take a few moments now to pray for Summit and for the Hunter family. And please, search your heart… if you’re anywhere close to being open to this kind of thing as a pastor, get some help today.  Right this minute. The cause of Christ is too important to have this kind of thing happen to you, your family, and the church. If you’re weak, depressed, under attack, susceptible to sin, caught in sin… PLEASE reach out to someone.  I’m here for some confidential venting as well… and maybe I can help hook you up with someone who can discreetly help you in your situation before it’s too late.  My email is toddrhoades at Todd

Warren Bird writes: Leadership Network’s latest church salary report, just released, is the largest-scale project that anyone has compiled to date on North America’s largest churches. It reports on 209 large churches, including 44 churches with weekend worship attendances of 5,000 and higher. Here are what I believe to be the most important findings for churches with attendances of 2,000 and higher. They are among the many points highlighted in the executive summary.
  • Senior pastor salaries in very large churches increased 2% per year for the last two years, and 0% per year for the two years before that.
  • Church size – represented by budget and attendance – is the most influential factor in salary differences for congregations of all sizes, including very large churches.
  • Geography and location (suburb, downtown, etc.) affect salary differences, but only mildly.
  • Founding pastors tend to receive higher pay than successor pastors.
  • Senior pastor pay in single site churches is higher than in multisite churches until attendance reaches about 6,000; then multisite churches begin to pay higher.
  • The second-highest paid staff member typically receives 66% of the salary of the senior pastor in very large churches.
To download the 10-page, illustrated executive summary 2012 Large Church Salary Report: Research Trends from Leadership Network, click here.

Current Events
“I’m not asking you to like me. I’m not asking you to love me or respect me, because I’ll do the work to earn that…I always ask people to give me one year of your life and I promise you will be changed.” Those were the words of Pastor Paula White, the new Senior Pastor at New Destiny Christian Center in Florida. She pledged to continue the vision of Tims to build a church that helped people in trouble find success in life. At one time, New Destiny boasted 8,000 members.  About 1,000 people were in attendance on Sunday. Paula brings a lot of baggage to the new position, including much controversy from her previous church, Church Without Walls, and a tumultuous personal life over the past few years. New Destiny Christian Center has it’s own share of baggage.  Just last week, the divorced wife of the deceased founder sued to block White’s hiring (and for herself to return to the pulpit).  Riva Tims divorced her husband and co-founder a few years back after Zachery Tims was involved in an affair.  Zachery was found dead in a New York Times Square hotel room last year in what has been speculated as a drug overdose.  Zachery’s mother has been suing the coroner’s office to keep the cause of death a secret. Can anything good come of this situation? Can a congregation led by such an interesting and notoriously goofed up leadership find the hand of God blessing them? What are your thoughts?  

What is the average pay for a senior pastor these days? Well, of course, it depends… on your experience, the size of your church, and what sex you are. According to the 2012-2013 Compensation Handbook for Church Staff (which surveyed about 4,600 churches and 8,000 church positions), the average senior pastor overall makes… [drum roll please]… $82,938. That’s up from last year’s average salary of $80,745. Another interesting finding is that women church employees (senior pastor or otherwise) make on average 28% LESS than men across all paid positions in the church. QUESTION:  Regardless of your position on women in ministry (at least in Senior roles), is it OK for women working in vocational ministry to make 28% less then their male counterparts? Why or why not? Take a look at your personnel expenses… Do you pay your women staff members less then your male staff members in equal or near equal positions? Let us know your thoughts below… Todd SOURCE