Author Topic: Pastor compensation  (Read 7878 times)

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Pastor compensation
« Reply #165 on: December 08, 2010, 01:49:34 PM »
One concern that I have, especially after a few of the comments on this thread, is some people, especially some people in the pews, look on pastoral salary as a kind of charity that is given to pastors so that they can sort of get by, but that it is charity, nothing that they have a right to expect or something owed them.  They, after all, are in it for the love of the Lord, the church and the parishoners, so they should not be concerned about how much they are paid.

First of all, pastors are not exempt from the same sorts of bills that everybody else has.  Especially if the congregation expects their pastor to devote full time effort to being pastor, and to be available to them full time, they need to provide their pastor a living.  I recall a congregation that was horrified to discover that their pastor had applied for food stamps.  They wanted their circuit or district officials to tell him not to.  They were not happy when the reply was the suggestion to simply pay him enough that he no longer qualified.

Second, pastors (and other church workers) earn the money they are paid.  Typically they are paid less, maybe much less than employment with comparable qualifications and responsibilities in the private sector.  Few ordinary parish pastors are overpaid - at least not in our circles.

Third, the Bible does not make it a major point, but if you look, pastor pay is a topic in several places, and no where does it say that pastors do not deserve to earn a living at what they do. 

Somehow, churches need to understand that paying their pastor (and other church workers) is not a nice act of charity on their part but an obligation.

Another issue can be that the long-time members of the congregation (which can be nearly everyone) have no concept of what it costs to buy a house today. They remember their mortgages of a couple hundred dollars, and can't understand why a pastor needs $20,000 or $30,000 or something else for a housing allowance.
"The church had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

Dan Fienen

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Re: Pastor compensation
« Reply #166 on: December 08, 2010, 01:52:16 PM »
And then, as noted before, do not understand housing allowance as part of, not in addition to salary.  So they might look at how cheaply their pastor and his family could be housed.

Dan
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Charles_Austin

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Re: Pastor compensation
« Reply #167 on: December 08, 2010, 01:56:57 PM »
One might hope that the idea of keeping the pastor "humble" or believing that he or she need not be paid a professional salary because they are "serving the Lord" would be passing from existence. But I fear it is not.
But, friends, we are going to have to do it ourselves, toot our own trumpets, stand up for our own professional integrity and personal needs.
Don't be afraid to ask to be paid synod guidelines or more. Be honest about housing and living costs. Be ready to cite comparable salaries for other professionals in your area.  And don't forget to require the proper amounts for continuing education and car allowance.
Be ready to risk the call on the salary question, for it you cave on it there, it is almost certain you will be run over later.

PastorChick

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Re: Pastor compensation
« Reply #168 on: December 08, 2010, 02:05:27 PM »
One might hope that the idea of keeping the pastor "humble" or believing that he or she need not be paid a professional salary because they are "serving the Lord" would be passing from existence. But I fear it is not.
But, friends, we are going to have to do it ourselves, toot our own trumpets, stand up for our own professional integrity and personal needs.
Don't be afraid to ask to be paid synod guidelines or more. Be honest about housing and living costs. Be ready to cite comparable salaries for other professionals in your area.  And don't forget to require the proper amounts for continuing education and car allowance.
Be ready to risk the call on the salary question, for it you cave on it there, it is almost certain you will be run over later.


Along with that, I have a message for the guy (whose wife usually has a good paying job) who gets up at EVERY synod assembly (and there seems to be one in every synod) and says "These synod guidelines are too high.  I told my council not to give me a raise.  I don't need the money!"   -- Dear Pastor:  I am a single widowed mother with two children in college.  I need synod guidelines thank you very much (which I have NEVER ever received)   If you are so blessed, instead of talking your council into cutting your salary so they can all see what a generous sacrificing wonderful pastor you are while screwing the next pastor to come along -- why don't you shut up and take your salary and then quietly GIVE BACK to the church what you don't need.  In the offering plate.  Where you left hand doesn't know what your right hand is doing.

Joelle

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Re: Pastor compensation
« Reply #169 on: December 08, 2010, 02:43:42 PM »
Along with that, I have a message for the guy (whose wife usually has a good paying job) who gets up at EVERY synod assembly (and there seems to be one in every synod) and says "These synod guidelines are too high.  I told my council not to give me a raise.  I don't need the money!"   -- Dear Pastor:  I am a single widowed mother with two children in college.  I need synod guidelines thank you very much (which I have NEVER ever received)   If you are so blessed, instead of talking your council into cutting your salary so they can all see what a generous sacrificing wonderful pastor you are while screwing the next pastor to come along -- why don't you shut up and take your salary and then quietly GIVE BACK to the church what you don't need.  In the offering plate.  Where you left hand doesn't know what your right hand is doing.

Joelle

Amen! Preach it! Amen!  ;D
Pr. Tim Christ, STS