When the average person thinks of a pastor, they often think of leaders of churches that they see on TV or their Instagram feed.
They see the $1000 sneakers and luxury brand clothing. Many people think that the average pastor is grossly overpaid.
But we know that the average pastor lives a life that couldn’t be any more different.
We believe most pastors are actually underpaid. And we think most of them ought to get a raise.
Here are six reasons why.
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They Can Give More Of Their Time
Underpaid pastors are often looking for ways to make ends meet. To do so, they are likely to seek sources of supplemental income. That can mean taking part-time work or working in the gig economy.
If we find a way to compensate our pastors better, they can invest more time into the church. Their attention won’t be divided.
While we are 100% in favor of bi-vocational ministry, churches would be wise to help pastors give all of their ministry efforts.
Inflation across the globe has touched 7% year over year. That means if you don’t give your pastor a raise this year, they are making thousands of dollars less now than they did last year.
Remember, inflation compounds. Skip raises for several years, and your pastor takes a 50% pay cut! And that assumes that inflation doesn’t go up from here.
The Bible Says We Should
The bible is full of scriptures that teach that we should compensate those who work in the ministry fairly.
1 Timothy 5:17 tells us: Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching.
Double honor is due to those who teach. We should find ways to be a blessing to them. Giving them a raise is one way.
They Won’t Want To Leave
Pastoral transition is hard… And expensive. Because the cost is not something the church pays directly, this cost is often missed unless they hire a staffing service.
Churches in transition have a hard time growing. They see a decrease in attendance and giving for a season in most cases.
If we pay our pastors well, the odds of them seeking other positions go down. In the long run, this will save you money.
Paying More Brings an Expectation of More
We can expect more from our pastoral staff when we invest more in them.
Now we all understand that first and foremost, they are working for the Lord. In a perfect world, compensation would not play a role in a pastor’s effort.
But the fact remains that financial incentives are powerful. As Luke 12:48 tells us: “When someone has been given much, much will be required in return; and when someone has been entrusted with much, even more will be required.”
Recruiting Will Improve
As churches grow, their staffing needs will grow with it. If your church has a reputation of being a place where pastors are compensated well, it will help you to bring in better church staff.
In some cases, there may be church leaders that would be a perfect fit for your church, but the numbers don’t make sense.
Invest more in your pastors now, and finding the right staff in the future will be much easier.
Thank you so much for this podcast. I am currently working on a restructured compensation package for our pastor because he has been severely underpaid for years, and stumbled on this while doing some research to present to our Board.
That is so great to hear Betsy, thank you!