Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Pastor's Pay Rises to More than $80,000

The average senior pastor in U.S. churches today makes more than $80,000 a year, a recent national survey shows.

Compensation packages, including benefits such as retirement, life insurance, health insurance and continuing education allowances, have increased to $81,113 per year for the average senior pastor. And pastors who hold a higher academic degree are paid up to $30,000 more per year than pastors without any post-secondary education.

The statistics come from the 2009 Compensation Handbook for Church Staff, an annual analysis of compensation packages at churches across the country, and at a time when churches begin planning their budget for the next year. This year, 4,800 U.S. churches, representing about 11,000 employees, were surveyed between January and March by the Your Church Media Group at Christianity Today International.

According to the survey, churches that draw 101 to 300 people each week pay senior pastors $72,664 per year, including benefits. The pay increases to $88,502 for pastors at churches that average a weekly attendance of 301 to 500 people, and then to $102,623 when attendance averages 501 to 750 people.

Compensation also increased among executive and administrative pastors who now earn an average of about $60,777 at churches of 101 to 300 people and $76,671 at churches of 501 to 750 people.

Pastors who lead music, choir or worship earn an average of about $51,954 at the smaller churches and $64,781 at the bigger ones.

Senior pastors, full-time secretaries and administrative assistants in the New England states have higher compensation compared to those in other regions, the survey also found.
Compensation is highest in suburban churches with suburban senior pastors making an average of 50 percent more than their rural counterparts. The pay is lower with churches in metropolitan areas, small towns and then in rural communities, respectively.

Meanwhile, executive or administrative pastors, bookkeepers and accountants earn the most in the Pacific region and administrators fare best in Tennessee, Kentucky, Alabama, and Mississippi.

Pay also differed among denominations. Pastors leading in Presbyterian and Lutheran churches earn the most with over $100,000 in compensation while executive and administrative pastors make more on average with independent and nondenominational churches ($80,469) than any other denomination.

The 2009 Compensation Handbook for Church Staff provides a complete analysis of 13 church positions and includes breakdowns for part-time, full-time, church size, income budget, and geographical setting.

[By Audrey Barrick - Christian Post Reporter]

The Importance of Ministry to Youth

New Ellison Research asked 1,007 American adults to report on their attendance at worship services. Results of the study showed that the traditional definitions of "churched" — people who attend services monthly or more often — and "un-churched" — people who do not typically attend frequently enough to be considered "churched" — often doesn't tell a complete story about how often people actually attend religious worship services. If adults in America are placed in more realistic categories based on their normal behavior, attendance stats at religious services would look like this:
  • Attend more than once a week (11%)
  • Attend once a week (22%)
  • Attend two to three times a month (14%)
  • Attend once a month (5%)
  • Attend occasionally, not on a regular basis (9%)
  • Attend only on religious holidays (10%)
  • Do not attend at all (29%)

The study also showed that if an adult attended worship services regularly at some point before the age of 18, there is a 55 percent chance that person is currently attending once a month or more. If the person never attended prior to age 18, there is only a 21 percent chance that individual is currently attending worship services on a regular basis.

Church Technology

Healing For My Wounded Soul

A few years ago, someone gave me one of the most valuable gifts I've ever received. My good friend presented me an autographed copy of Healing the Masculine Soul by Gordon Dalby. And I'm still trying to process many of the concepts that Gordon presented.

On my way to the gym this morning, I was thinking about some of the "wounds" in my own soul -- and how my life has been influenced by these "things" or "scars" or whatever else one could call them. And sitting here today, I've been thinking about how most people have "wounds" in their lives ... and the real issue becomes not the "woundedness" but what one does once they are in "recovery."

Think about Michael Phelps.

This marvelous athlete didn't grow up in the "lap of luxury" from all indications. He grew up in a single parent home (which is better than a NO parent home), and was diagnosed early on with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). Many folks thought he would be mediocre at best.

And he's ANYTHING but mediocre. He can now claim the title of being the BEST OLYMPIAN of all time! He has exhibited that attitude of humility, confidence, gratitude, and great poise ... all at the same time. And he's one INCREDIBLE swimmer on top of all that!

But we don't have to look to the field of "star athletes" to find "wounded" folks. I can start by simply looking in the mirror (which reminds me of another story, but then again MOST things remind me of a story). The "wounded" man I see in the mirror can overcome the worst obstacles that are placed in his path. But he must want to overcome them. Simply wishing it were so -- or even wishing it were different, accomplishes nothing. The Lord helps us overcome ... because HE has overcome death, hell, and the grave. We can overcome the "wounds" because He was WOUNDED for us.

Starting today, I plan to "overcome" all the wounds I find in my life.

[Phil Hoover]