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Thread: Pastoral Compensation

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    Senior Member Pete Vecchi's Avatar

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    Pastoral Compensation

    At the risk of sounding self-serving, I'm going to ask a question about "typical" salaries/salary packages for Church of the Nazarene pastors.

    Full disclosure--yes, I am a Pastor in the Church of the Nazarene. But in the next few weeks, we will likely be looking at the budget for the upcoming church year, and someone involved in the budgeting process has asked me about "typical" pastor salaries. I have said numerous times that there is no such thing, especially in the Church of the Nazarene, where church size, area economics, full-time vs. bi-vocational pastorates, and other issues come into play.

    But, is there someplace that I can look on-line to find something to cite?

    What would be ideal is to see breakdowns of these things by church size and regions. But absent that, I'd be happy to just have some info to be able to reference.

    Thanks in advance for any information people might be able to give.

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    Senior Member Craig Laughlin's Avatar

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    Re: Pastoral Compensation

    There is such a book. My finance chair uses it for our salaries. Not sure what it is called. I'm sending him an e-mail. - It breaks down by size of church, income of church, area of the country and title. Maybe someone else will have the title before I get a reply.
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  3. #3
    Dan Henderson
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    Re: Pastoral Compensation

    Quote Originally Posted by Craig Laughlin View Post
    There is such a book. My finance chair uses it for our salaries. Not sure what it is called. I'm sending him an e-mail. - It breaks down by size of church, income of church, area of the country and title. Maybe someone else will have the title before I get a reply.
    I would like to see that book or know too. Sounds interesting. My personal opinion (my own with my own unique reasoning) is that the local pastor's salary should be as much as the congregation can afford (disclaimer, I am not a preacher). Roughly, I think the salary should be at about the 75th percentile of the congregant's salary range.
    Thanks Jim Chabot - "thanks" for this post

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    Senior Member Craig Laughlin's Avatar

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    Re: Pastoral Compensation

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Henderson View Post
    I would like to see that book or know too. Sounds interesting. My personal opinion (my own with my own unique reasoning) is that the local pastor's salary should be as much as the congregation can afford (disclaimer, I am not a preacher). Roughly, I think the salary should be at about the 75th percentile of the congregant's salary range.
    I think I may have an opening on my board, you interested?
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    Senior Member Ryan Pugh's Avatar

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    Re: Pastoral Compensation

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Henderson View Post
    Roughly, I think the salary should be at about the 75th percentile of the congregant's salary range.
    I think you might have confused the pastor's salary with how much of the church's resources should be given to the poor.
    Most good things have been said far too many times and just need to be lived. - Shane Claiborne

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    Senior Member Scott Sherwood's Avatar

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    Re: Pastoral Compensation

    Pete, I'm attaching a worksheet from my previous district. The district recommended that churches break their budget into quarters, with one quarter devoted to pastors' cash salary & benefits (not expenses or housing), one quarter devoted to property (including pastors' housing), one quarter devoted to program (including pastors' professional expenses), and one quarter devoted to giving to others.

    It is important to note that this does not put the pastor "on commission." As the quartiles grow, the number of pastors can increase as can the other areas of spending. My personal salary is only incidentally related to our church income. Church income determines how many pastors we can afford.

    May God bless your team with unity and clarity of vision. Copy of Operating Budget with additions (formulas)3-23-07.pdf
    Thanks Pete Vecchi - "thanks" for this post

  7. #7
    Dan Henderson
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    Re: Pastoral Compensation

    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan Pugh View Post
    I think you might have confused the pastor's salary with how much of the church's resources should be given to the poor.
    nope, not at all, I said 75% of the congregants salary range, not 75% of the church income.

  8. #8
    Dan Henderson
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    Re: Pastoral Compensation

    Quote Originally Posted by Craig Laughlin View Post
    I think I may have an opening on my board, you interested?
    I thought you would like that and what's more, I'm serious.
    Thanks Jim Chabot - "thanks" for this post

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    Senior Member Ryan Pugh's Avatar

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    Re: Pastoral Compensation

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Henderson View Post
    nope, not at all, I said 75% of the congregants salary range, not 75% of the church income.
    Ah, I get what you mean. Sorry I misunderstood what you wrote.
    Most good things have been said far too many times and just need to be lived. - Shane Claiborne

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    Senior Member Craig Laughlin's Avatar

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    Re: Pastoral Compensation

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Henderson View Post
    I thought you would like that and what's more, I'm serious.
    I believe you and I actually think paying a pastor relative to the income of people in the congregation is a good idea but I think it would be hard to work out.

    One of my little soap boxes is that most pastors in small churches are underpaid, especially when you take into consideration the whole package which should include insurance, retirement etc. As a church get's larger it is less of an issue. Like Scott I am the Lead pastor in a multiple staff situation so I can argue for better salaries for small church pastor's without it looking like I am going to benefit from it. I'm with you, let's help small church pastor's, they certainly pour their lives out in love for their people.
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    Senior Member Michael Flowers's Avatar

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    Re: Pastoral Compensation

    At my church (40 people) we are currently reworking the budget and the pastors salary package before and after make up about 50% of the budget (slightly under 50% in the new budget). My opinion is that the pastor's salary should be high enough for the pastor to live on without impeding the effectiveness of the ministries of the church.
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    Senior Member Michael Flowers's Avatar

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    Re: Pastoral Compensation

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Henderson View Post
    I thought you would like that and what's more, I'm serious.
    Want to move a couple of hours north to Mattoon after you retire?

  13. #13
    Dan Henderson
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    Re: Pastoral Compensation

    Quote Originally Posted by Craig Laughlin View Post
    I believe you and I actually think paying a pastor relative to the income of people in the congregation is a good idea but I think it would be hard to work out.

    One of my little soap boxes is that most pastors in small churches are underpaid, especially when you take into consideration the whole package which should include insurance, retirement etc. As a church get's larger it is less of an issue. Like Scott I am the Lead pastor in a multiple staff situation so I can argue for better salaries for small church pastor's without it looking like I am going to benefit from it. I'm with you, let's help small church pastor's, they certainly pour their lives out in love for their people.
    True, true and, true. United Methodists and other's have that figured out. Every pastor gets a living wage. The trouble with Nazarenes is that we are Congregationalists when convenient, yet want our GSs to be our Bishops. My pappy always told me that if every congregant tithed, no church would ever have financial trouble. The trouble with even my ideal formula, only a tithe of the congregants tithe. With everyone tithing, the pastor could be paid even higher than the 75th percentile and the salaries would be a very small percentage of the total budget.

    I believe fully that our pastor's should be full-time, set apart, and not have to worry about such things as food, shelter, clothing, education, or anything else that would distract from full-time ministry. I have always believed that the congregation/board that is committed to their pastor's (and yes, we "hired" their families too and must care for them) care will not only meet that goal, but they will evangelize, feed the poor, and in general, be a tremendous blessing to their community.

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    Host Steven Martinez's Avatar

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    Re: Pastoral Compensation

    Just for the record, every district in their journal has the basic salaries/compensations for the senior pastor. I think this is one of the better methods as it compares with churches in your area. Not all amounts are equal. A good package in Kansas City would be a tight squeeze for a pastor in Dallas, Chicago or Southern California.
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    Re: Pastoral Compensation

    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan Pugh View Post
    I think you might have confused the pastor's salary with how much of the church's resources should be given to the poor.
    I think you might have confused that their is a difference between the average Nazarene Pastor and the poor.
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    Senior Member Ryan Pugh's Avatar

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    Re: Pastoral Compensation

    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Martinez View Post
    I think you might have confused that their is a difference between the average Nazarene Pastor and the poor.
    Yeah, I was waiting for someone to bring that up...
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    Senior Member Kyle Borger's Avatar

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    Re: Pastoral Compensation

    This is a tough one for me. I have been a part of boards and finance teams that decided pastor pay and now I am on the other end of it. I have been in situations where the church finances simply didn't allow us to pay the pastor(s) what we wanted to pay. At some point in time you have to pay the mortgage. I have also seen some pastoral packages that were a little difficult to accept when the majority in the church made less than the pastor. I have even been a lay person who at times felt that what the pastor was not quite fair partially because they were driving new cars and going on 4 week vacations while I was without a job, with no insurance, and continued paying tithe on anything that did come our way. (Just pointing this out because sometimes when you are in a hard place, it can be hard to vote on a pay package that is 3 times larger than anything you have ever earned. We must realize that many on church boards may be in financial crisis and it can be difficult for them to pay someone else more than they can imagine to do a job they often don't understand and thinks involves writing a sermon and eating out.)

    Now I am an associate pastor with no pay and no benefits other than the generosity of church members who drop food by on a random basis. (By the way there are plenty of benefits! Just not a benefits package.)

    One church board I served on used the local teacher's package as a guideline to determine a living wage. For some that worked, for others is didn't. One pastor had sacrificed serving with little to no pay while racking up huge school bills to get his masters. What was a fair living wage in the area just simply wasn't enough to keep him above water. What was the church's responsibility in this area? The pastor was not serving that particular church when he ran up the bill, but the church and the denomination benefited from his studies.

    I hope that people generally love their pastors and want to bless them, but some churches do have a harder focus on finances than others and hold a tight leash on pastoral compensation. Some churches actually compensate their pastor too much and the ministries suffer.

    A healthy approach is to compare the average salary in the area for a manager. Calculate average mortgage payments or rental rates for a modest home, and other average cost of living costs. Once you have put the package together compare how it impacts the rest of your budget. Based on last years numbers can you pay your staff and pay the mortgage, utilities, etc... In a small church your pastor's package may be 75% of the budget if you have no mortgages, while in a larger church total staff compensation would be no more than 50%. Others might use 1/3 ratios.

    Many times savings can be found in the ministries. We must realize that fewer people are tithing, but they do understand paying for a realized cost. The idea of paying for a service feels like selling our souls, but in some cases it means survival. Many schools now require you to buy school supplies, parents understand that. How much are you spending on paper supplies, crayons, markers, & snacks? Have each department communicate with those who participate that you have a need for certain items. Many times you will get what you need. At the very least you didn't have to buy what you got. Trips and other events that we believe are vital to spiritual growth can be covered with an event cost along with available scholarships and fund raising. You may have a person who won't just give, but they will give to help others go for a specific reason. Get that list going and manage it wisely.

    I once created and worked on the budgets for all of the ministries of a church with 600-700 in attendance. I had $10,000+ in each department budget and many times thought I needed more. The church had a total budget of $600,000 to $700,000 at the time. I then began serving in a church that had a total budget of about $250,000 with a significant mortgage and no budgets for ministries, but also had 4 staff members. I learned a new approach. Now I serve in a church with a total budget of about $75,000 with one paid pastor and one unpaid pastor and no money for ministries.

    In terms of effectiveness, each church is different and each church has their way of reaching others for Christ. I would not make the claim that the larger church is any more effective than the smaller church.

    Now as a pastor, my primary goal would be to have people on the board who have a personal relationship with God and trust God. (I know all about board member qualifications, but there is a difference between qualifications on paper and actually serving Christ.) That those serving actually do seek God's guidance when making their decisions. I am comfortable with pastoral compensation as long as those making the decisions are basing those decisions on what they believe God is telling them to do rather than just formulas and averages.
    Thanks Mike Schutz, Melissa DeBono, Jim Chabot - "thanks" for this post

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    Re: Pastoral Compensation

    Kyle,
    You have had a number of very interesting experiences! Thanks for sharing.

    I currently serve a church as an Associate pastor, part time, and I receive housing in lieu of financial compensation. The arrangement is fair, and I would say that my total family standard of living is median for my congregation, which is split between very low income and middle class, with a few fairly high earning upper middle class individuals. I'm a rich poor person, or a poor privileged person depending on your perspective. Socially, I fit in with social workers from non-profits, school teachers and public defenders. The concept of the pastor's compensation being around 75th percentile of the average salary seems relatively fair (with the possible need to correct for outliers) A faithful pastor will not want to be feasting while his people suffer and it does the healthy relationship no good for the pastor to be under-paid, the risk of resentment is too high. No church budget will reflect what a pastor does with their money, and chances are that a well-paid pastor is contributing in a thousand ways to the work of ministry and the well being of the people.

    I would be very unhappy serving in a congregation with no budget for ministry. To me, creating a healthy budget is a huge concern. Without money for ministry, the hours paid for in staff are a waste. I am glad that my congregation built a good budget foundation and compensation package for me, even when they were not able to offer me a traditional salary. We have chosen a model which combines three bi-vocational pastors who share what would be the typical compensation package for one full time pastor.

    What this enables us to do is to talk realistically about the hours and responsibilities of our roles. It is much the same for friends who have had to move from full-time to bi-vocational. It is only reasonable to expect a change in work-load, with the congregation expecting less, particularly if the pastor is having to spend more time and energy in conserving finances. Even if the pastor is not taking an extra job, they are likely spending extra effort at home to live within their means.

    The reality is that in the Church of the Nazarene a huge percentage of pastors need to be bi-vocational. This changes the ball-game of the expectations we have typically held for pastors.
    Thanks Mike Schutz, Jim Chabot, David Troxler - "thanks" for this post

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    Senior Member Jim Chabot's Avatar

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    Re: Pastoral Compensation

    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan Pugh View Post
    I think you might have confused the pastor's salary with how much of the church's resources should be given to the poor.
    Not on your life! Pastors should be paid as well as the church can afford, if the pastors pay goes over six figures then so be it. Should the pastor be committed to giving to the poor, then he or she will have more money to give.

    Personally, I give $0 to my church for the purpose of giving to the poor. What I give to those less fortunate I give directly either to the person or to an organization dedicated to that purpose. The Spirit urges Me to give, I give, simple as that, no middle man required.
    -Jim

    To know and to serve God, of course, is why we're here, a clear truth, that, like the nose on your face, is near at hand and easily discernible but can make you dizzy if you try to focus on it hard. But a little faith will see you through.

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    Re: Pastoral Compensation

    I'm wondering if there has ever been any kind of study done to see if there is any correlation between longevity of pastoral service and higher compensation?
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    Senior Member Craig Laughlin's Avatar

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    Re: Pastoral Compensation

    Quote Originally Posted by John Dahl View Post
    I'm wondering if there has ever been any kind of study done to see if there is any correlation between longevity of pastoral service and higher compensation?
    That is a good question. I don't know.

    I do know that larger churches tend to have longer pastoral stays and larger churches tend to pay better. Of course there are many other perks to larger churches as well that impact job satisfaction positively so it would be hard to make a direct coloration. I also know anecdotally of many young pastors who had to move from small churches because they were just not making it financially but would otherwise have like to stay.
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    Senior Member Ryan Pugh's Avatar

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    Re: Pastoral Compensation

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Chabot View Post
    Not on your life! Pastors should be paid as well as the church can afford, if the pastors pay goes over six figures then so be it. Should the pastor be committed to giving to the poor, then he or she will have more money to give.
    Jim, I'm sad you find it funny (by clicking laughing) that I would suggest that a large chunk of the resources brought to the church belong to the poor. That's what we find through scripture and through the practices of the early church. Historically, 90% of church offerings was given to the poor. Now we've pretty much reversed that, or even worse. I don't see much scripture that can justify huge salaries for pastors. But that also depends on how you view the role of the pastor and church community.

    Personally, I give $0 to my church for the purpose of giving to the poor. What I give to those less fortunate I give directly either to the person or to an organization dedicated to that purpose.
    That's great, I'm glad you do. But the church historically has been the "organization dedicated to that purpose" of caring for those in need.

    The Spirit urges Me to give, I give, simple as that, no middle man required.
    I'm not worried about a middle man either. I'm worried about the church being the church with its resources. And to refer to the church as the middle man is quite offensive and also telling of how far we have come from our understanding of one of the main purposes of the church.
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    Thanks Jim Chabot - "thanks" for this post

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    Re: Pastoral Compensation

    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan Pugh View Post
    Jim, I'm sad you find it funny (by clicking laughing) that I would suggest that a large chunk of the resources brought to the church belong to the poor. That's what we find through scripture and through the practices of the early church. Historically, 90% of church offerings was given to the poor. Now we've pretty much reversed that, or even worse. I don't see much scripture that can justify huge salaries for pastors. But that also depends on how you view the role of the pastor and church community.



    That's great, I'm glad you do. But the church historically has been the "organization dedicated to that purpose" of caring for those in need.



    I'm not worried about a middle man either. I'm worried about the church being the church with its resources. And to refer to the church as the middle man is quite offensive and also telling of how far we have come from our understanding of one of the main purposes of the church.
    Ryan,

    There are a lot of areas in your post that I can agree with. The church is suppose to be the conduit of God's grace into a person's life. That encompasses several areas. Finances, emotional well-being, psychological well-being, and other physical needs. I'm not sure we should get bogged down in trying to attach a percentage of how much of the church's resources should go to the poor.

    Some churches might have a pastor who's gifted in the area of counseling that bring people to freedom and healing with their emotions and psychological health and spend more in that area than another church might. Can or should we then quantify or judge which church is doing the better job by what percentage of their income is spent where we think it should go? What about the church that has a food bank through which they distribute food but spend very small amounts of money? Or the church that helps the poor through 2nd hand clothing that is donated to the church but again expend very little money?

    I for one do not want to be on the slippery slope of trying to determine the "holiness" of a church just by looking at their income statement relative to how I think is the right way to spend money.
    Thanks Ryan Pugh - "thanks" for this post

  24. #24
    Senior Member Ryan Pugh's Avatar

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    Re: Pastoral Compensation

    Quote Originally Posted by John Dahl View Post
    Ryan,

    There are a lot of areas in your post that I can agree with. The church is suppose to be the conduit of God's grace into a person's life. That encompasses several areas. Finances, emotional well-being, psychological well-being, and other physical needs. I'm not sure we should get bogged down in trying to attach a percentage of how much of the church's resources should go to the poor.

    Some churches might have a pastor who's gifted in the area of counseling that bring people to freedom and healing with their emotions and psychological health and spend more in that area than another church might. Can or should we then quantify or judge which church is doing the better job by what percentage of their income is spent where we think it should go? What about the church that has a food bank through which they distribute food but spend very small amounts of money? Or the church that helps the poor through 2nd hand clothing that is donated to the church but again expend very little money?

    I for one do not want to be on the slippery slope of trying to determine the "holiness" of a church just by looking at their income statement relative to how I think is the right way to spend money.
    Yeah, I'm not trying to make an argument based on percentages either. I'm just pointing out that when it comes to money/resources of the church, it seems like we've come a long ways from what God would have us to be about. And we can get a pretty good idea of what a church exists for (mission) by looking at where it spends its money. If it's largely on staff, building, curriculum, etc. (internal), then maybe we need to reconsider whether or not we are really being the church, which is the only organization that exists for the benefit of non-members.
    Most good things have been said far too many times and just need to be lived. - Shane Claiborne

  25. #25
    Dan Henderson
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    Re: Pastoral Compensation

    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan Pugh View Post
    Yeah, I'm not trying to make an argument based on percentages either. I'm just pointing out that when it comes to money/resources of the church, it seems like we've come a long ways from what God would have us to be about. And we can get a pretty good idea of what a church exists for (mission) by looking at where it spends its money. If it's largely on staff, building, curriculum, etc. (internal), then maybe we need to reconsider whether or not we are really being the church, which is the only organization that exists for the benefit of non-members.
    As is true with any organization. Consider the following two students attending any given Nazarene College or University: Given "Ceteras Perabus" and that the student scenario is mutually exclusive; one student is a top notch athlete, the other a top-notch ministry student. Which student is more likely to graduate debt-free?

  26. #26
    Senior Member Pete Vecchi's Avatar

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    Re: Pastoral Compensation

    So, getting back to the original question, is there really anything anyone has as far as information on what a "typical" Nazarene pastor's compensation actually is, or should I just go with what I've said all along--that there is no typical Nazarene pastor's compensation?

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    Re: Pastoral Compensation

    Hi Pete,

    There is probably not a typical Nazarene pastor's salary, as you surmise. What we do here at our office is collect what we call a Pastoral Remuneration sheet each year at Annual Pastor Report time. We then put the information into a spread sheet that we can sort by church size, income, etc. If you would like to have a portion of that document (we often provide this to our churches with the church names removed), I'd be happy to email it to you. Just message me your address, church size, basic community type (urban/suburban/large/small/mid-size city?) and church income and I will send you something you can use for comparison. It will be for information from church in Oregon that were submitted about a year ago since we are currently in our APR season.

    We do find it a bit difficult to compare apples to apples. Church size is not the only variable, of course. Urban/rural/suburban/small town is one. Blue collar/gray collar/white collar may be another.

    I have a couple of older copies (not sure why I still have them since they are outdated) of this resource that you might find helpful: http://store.churchlawtodaystore.com/20cohaforchs.html. I think someone was alluding to it in an earlier response.
    Thanks Craig Laughlin, Pete Vecchi - "thanks" for this post

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    Senior Member Jim Chabot's Avatar

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    Re: Pastoral Compensation

    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan Pugh View Post
    Jim, I'm sad you find it funny (by clicking laughing) that I would suggest that a large chunk of the resources brought to the church belong to the poor. That's what we find through scripture and through the practices of the early church. Historically, 90% of church offerings was given to the poor. Now we've pretty much reversed that, or even worse. I don't see much scripture that can justify huge salaries for pastors. But that also depends on how you view the role of the pastor and church community.
    Scripture does tell us that the Pastor is worthy of his wages, scripture does tell us that if one is not paid and supported while spreading the gospel, to shake the dust off and move on. Recent history tells us that churches have used and abused Pastors.

    And since we are talking about Nazarene Pastor's, I don't think that a concern over a huge salary is warranted.

    I clicked laughing because this is a thread about pastoral compensation. I clicked laughing because this thread was started by a pastor who is truly a servant, pastoring a small church and working pretty hard at it. I clicked laughing because I thought that your comment was insensitive.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan Pugh View Post
    That's great, I'm glad you do. But the church historically has been the "organization dedicated to that purpose" of caring for those in need.
    Well times change don't they. From my perspective, the church hasn't been that organization for some time now. But no worries because there are plenty of other good folks doing this work and they do it better than the church does. I'm thinking of organizations like Teen Challenge and The Salvation Army, they go places and do things that the church isn't equipped to do. Unless you are looking for the credit, you shouldn't be worried about who is helping, only that someone is.


    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan Pugh View Post
    I'm not worried about a middle man either. I'm worried about the church being the church with its resources. And to refer to the church as the middle man is quite offensive and also telling of how far we have come from our understanding of one of the main purposes of the church.
    I don't need the church to help me in my giving to the poor and the unfortunate. My reference to "the middle man" is accurate. If I feel led to be part of a church that finds it's main mission to care for the poor, I will join the Salvation Army or another like minded organization. I'm not interested in getting the credit or bragging on how much my church does for the poor.

    In actuality, my church is a lot like Pete's church. We are few in number and for the most part, the folks at my church are the poor. Our budget reflects the income of our congregation, and sadly we do not have enough to pay our Pastor a living wage. I'm glad to be there and to be able to help. The last thing that I would wish to do is to give them a bunch of money and hope that they didn't pay the Pastor with it.

    Yeah, let's starve the Pastor so that we can say that we give to the poor!

    I'm sorry for going on a tear with you Ryan. But given the situation of quite a few dear saints and true servants willing to minister in churches that cannot afford to pay them, I found your reference to the mission of the church to be quite offensive.
    -Jim

    To know and to serve God, of course, is why we're here, a clear truth, that, like the nose on your face, is near at hand and easily discernible but can make you dizzy if you try to focus on it hard. But a little faith will see you through.

    Garrison Keillor
    Thanks Ryan Pugh, Billy Cox - "thanks" for this post

  29. #29
    Senior Member Billy Cox's Avatar

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    Re: Pastoral Compensation

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Henderson View Post
    I would like to see that book or know too. Sounds interesting. My personal opinion (my own with my own unique reasoning) is that the local pastor's salary should be as much as the congregation can afford (disclaimer, I am not a preacher). Roughly, I think the salary should be at about the 75th percentile of the congregant's salary range.
    I think that's a good rule of thumb, but I dread the thought that the church would ever try to make it a rule. Do pastors need any more temptation to schmooze the money people and court seemingly weatlhy visitors?
    "Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us wthout end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience."
    - C.S. Lewis

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    Senior Member Billy Cox's Avatar

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    Re: Pastoral Compensation

    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Martinez View Post
    Just for the record, every district in their journal has the basic salaries/compensations for the senior pastor. I think this is one of the better methods as it compares with churches in your area. Not all amounts are equal. A good package in Kansas City would be a tight squeeze for a pastor in Dallas, Chicago or Southern California.
    Dallas? Really? I didn't think that cost of living in Dallas is in the same league as Chicago or Southern California.
    "Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us wthout end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience."
    - C.S. Lewis
    Thanks John Kennedy - "thanks" for this post

  31. #31
    Senior Member Ryan Pugh's Avatar

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    Re: Pastoral Compensation

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Chabot View Post
    I clicked laughing because this is a thread about pastoral compensation. I clicked laughing because this thread was started by a pastor who is truly a servant, pastoring a small church and working pretty hard at it. I clicked laughing because I thought that your comment was insensitive.
    Pete, I apologize if my comment was insensitive and unhelpful to you.

    I'm sorry for going on a tear with you Ryan. But given the situation of quite a few dear saints and true servants willing to minister in churches that cannot afford to pay them, I found your reference to the mission of the church to be quite offensive.
    Thanks for the comments, Jim. Blessings.
    Most good things have been said far too many times and just need to be lived. - Shane Claiborne

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    Senior Member Jim Chabot's Avatar

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    Re: Pastoral Compensation

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Vecchi View Post
    So, getting back to the original question, is there really anything anyone has as far as information on what a "typical" Nazarene pastor's compensation actually is, or should I just go with what I've said all along--that there is no typical Nazarene pastor's compensation?
    I can tell you that our church is similar in size and budget to yours. I'm quite sad to report that we pay our Pastor $200 per month and provide the parsonage and utilities for him.

    I've never heard him complain or remark on his salary, and I'm humbled whenever I think of his willingness to serve a congregation that cannot afford to pay him.

    We do have a couple of budgetary anomalies. Prior to his arrival the parsonage was sold off, it isn't certain where the money went. So the church had to purchase a parsonage for him, so we have a mortgage there. A few years after his arrival the church discovered that the oil tank at the church had burst and leaked into the ground, we have a mortgage on the cleanup costs.
    -Jim

    To know and to serve God, of course, is why we're here, a clear truth, that, like the nose on your face, is near at hand and easily discernible but can make you dizzy if you try to focus on it hard. But a little faith will see you through.

    Garrison Keillor

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    Senior Member Billy Cox's Avatar

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    Re: Pastoral Compensation

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Chabot View Post
    I'm sorry for going on a tear with you Ryan. But given the situation of quite a few dear saints and true servants willing to minister in churches that cannot afford to pay them, I found your reference to the mission of the church to be quite offensive.
    Heh... Isn't it interesting when the people most apt to use mission terminology are those on the mission's payroll.
    "Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us wthout end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience."
    - C.S. Lewis

  34. #34
    Senior Member Jim Chabot's Avatar

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    Re: Pastoral Compensation

    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan Pugh View Post
    Thanks for the comments, Jim. Blessings.
    Ryan, my apology for going on a tear is an honest one. I do appreciate your concern for the poor. Some pastors give themselves to ministry with little or no pay. Sometimes we joke about Pastors actually being poor themselves, yet it is sometimes reality.

    On my way up to Maine, I spent some time on the phone with a friend of mine who is a song evangelist. Considering the amount of work this man does, his pay is almost embarrassing, yet it doesn't bother him. He was telling me a story about his dad who was a Nazarene Pastor until he was sidelined due to a serious heart attack. Forced to retire with just his social security check and with health insurance obtained through his district, he was told that he would be dropped from the plan unless he preached at least once a month. So off he would go to preach in tiny churches throughout rural Florida. He had to be driven there because he wasn't well enough to drive, yet the district said that he had to preach or be dropped.

    Again, sorry for the level of ire. I really get ticked off when I think of how we treat Pastors.
    -Jim

    To know and to serve God, of course, is why we're here, a clear truth, that, like the nose on your face, is near at hand and easily discernible but can make you dizzy if you try to focus on it hard. But a little faith will see you through.

    Garrison Keillor
    Thanks Mike Schutz, John Kennedy - "thanks" for this post

  35. #35
    Senior Member Craig Laughlin's Avatar

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    Re: Pastoral Compensation

    Quote Originally Posted by Bud Pugh View Post
    Hi Pete,

    There is probably not a typical Nazarene pastor's salary, as you surmise. What we do here at our office is collect what we call a Pastoral Remuneration sheet each year at Annual Pastor Report time. We then put the information into a spread sheet that we can sort by church size, income, etc. If you would like to have a portion of that document (we often provide this to our churches with the church names removed), I'd be happy to email it to you. Just message me your address, church size, basic community type (urban/suburban/large/small/mid-size city?) and church income and I will send you something you can use for comparison. It will be for information from church in Oregon that were submitted about a year ago since we are currently in our APR season.

    We do find it a bit difficult to compare apples to apples. Church size is not the only variable, of course. Urban/rural/suburban/small town is one. Blue collar/gray collar/white collar may be another.

    I have a couple of older copies (not sure why I still have them since they are outdated) of this resource that you might find helpful: http://store.churchlawtodaystore.com/20cohaforchs.html. I think someone was alluding to it in an earlier response.
    Yep, that's the book my finance chair uses. We have a several people on staff so it is very helpful for targeting salaries. I would think it worth the $34.
    It is not enough to be right, you have to be like Jesus.

  36. #36
    Senior Member Pete Vecchi's Avatar

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    Re: Pastoral Compensation

    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan Pugh View Post
    Pete, I apologize if my comment was insensitive and unhelpful to you.



    Thanks for the comments, Jim. Blessings.
    No offense was seen or taken by me whatsoever. Therefore, no apology needed as far as I am concerned.
    Thanks Ryan Pugh - "thanks" for this post

  37. #37
    Senior Member Pete Vecchi's Avatar

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    Re: Pastoral Compensation

    Let me share this. According to the 2011 District Journal, our district had 72 congregations with at least some income. The total of all congregations for the year district-wide was $15,156,941, or an average of $210,513 per congregation.

    Pastoral salaries (including for both lead and associate pastors) district-wide equaled $3,573,741, for an average of $49,635. Pastoral benefits (including for both lead and associate pastors) equaled $2,427,608, for an average of $33,717. That makes the "average" salary/benefits package $83,352 per congregation. Of course this is counting congregations that have multiple pastoral staff members, as well as congregations who have just one pastor who gets no financial salary or benefits from the congregation at all.

    But district-wide, this shows that congregations spend an average of about 40% of their income on pastoral salary/benefits (actually 39.59%, but I'm rounding off).

    The unknown variable in all of this is congregations that provide parsonage housing for their pastors, because the District Journal doesn't give that information. But assuming that at least some of the congregations provide this (from personal knowledge, I know of at least 4 right off the top of my head), it seems that the "average" congregation in this district spends over 40% on pastoral packages (because congregations with parsonages have to pay for rent/mortgage/utilities/upkeep/maintenance for those parsonages which provide the pastor with the benefit of not having to pay for those things out-of-pocket). At the same time, congregations may include some or all f the parsonage expenses under the pastoral benefits category.

  38. #38
    Senior Member Eric Frey's Avatar

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    Re: Pastoral Compensation

    Quote Originally Posted by John Dahl View Post
    I'm wondering if there has ever been any kind of study done to see if there is any correlation between longevity of pastoral service and higher compensation?
    http://pulpitandpew.org/pastors-tran...hurch-ministry

    It's been a while since I read this study, but I think I recall it talking about compensation. One of the big sections is on "burnout." I think compensation is A factor in burnout. People tend to be able to put up with alot when they are compensated well for doing so. People tend to be unable to put up with very much when they are not compensated well. Pastors put up with about as much as anyone I know and get less than most... you do the math.
    Thanks Pete Vecchi, John Kennedy - "thanks" for this post

  39. #39
    Senior Member Eric Frey's Avatar

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    Re: Pastoral Compensation

    Quote Originally Posted by John Dahl View Post
    I'm wondering if there has ever been any kind of study done to see if there is any correlation between longevity of pastoral service and higher compensation?
    http://pastoralcareinc.com/WhyPastor...Statistics.php

    Note: 70% of pastors feel they are "grossly underpaid"
    Thanks Pete Vecchi - "thanks" for this post

  40. #40
    Senior Member Pete Vecchi's Avatar

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    Re: Pastoral Compensation

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Frey View Post
    http://pastoralcareinc.com/WhyPastor...Statistics.php

    Note: 70% of pastors feel they are "grossly underpaid"
    Do you know when these statistics were compiled? They sound very familiar (some sound identical) to some statistics were were given in Bible College class. I took those classes 1995-1998, and as I remember they were from about 1990. So either these are about 20-year-old stats, or things really haven't changed in 20 years. Maybe it's both.

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