It’s a touchy subject.  How much is the pastor worth?  Or rather, how much of that worth will they receive in the pay envelope?

Monday Morning Insights reports that Crown Financial has come up with 5 criteria to consider.  (note that the link to the article is broken, but I trust them.)  The five criteria are:

  • Staff potential.
  • Position appreciation.
  • Fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work.
  • Rewards are earned, not given.
  • Fair and consistent treatment where there is no favoritism.

I think these are a good start and points to consider as you build a staff personnel manual.  For a church, as an employer,  should be run enough like a business that there are procedures on how staff are hired and removed, how they are compensated and evaluated, and what supplemental expenses will be paid.  It’s only fair for the staff.

The post is also instructive, if you take time to read the comments.  There is a lot of hurt and anger there, primarily from younger staff members who feel their wages are capriciously set and rarely adjusted.  There is an assumption that all hours spent in ministry should be compensated (making the wage per hour dip to single digits or fractions of a dollar per hour).

As you get ready to start the annual church budget (most congregations start collecting inputs in late spring or mid-summer, to have a reasoned budget for the fall), think on these things.

You might not agree with the comments, or come up with solutions consistent with Crown’s suggestions, but at least you can defend your actions if “brother takes brother to court.”