William Thornton is the SBC Plodder.
Look at it this way. On the first of every month, you go to your church office and are handed a check for $5,064.50. On that day you also can feel good that the church is paying your health insurance along with some contribution to your retirement.
It all adds up to $72,840 which does not include cash payments that most ministers receive as accountable reimbursements (mostly for use of their car, calculated by mileage) or for incidental reimbursements for convention, books, etc. Ministers who live in church owned housing receive some of the $60,774 in the form of housing rather than cash.
LifeWay and GuideStone collaborate on the compensation survey. The latest is available here.
Baptist Press trumpets that full time senior pastor pay is outpacing inflation and that it has risen over 6% since 2010.
1. The survey is not random and likely over reports larger churches and higher paid ministers, which is not a bad thing. You can take the overall average, probably higher than your present pay, and say that you are below average.
2. You can manipulate the data. In my state the senior pastor of an average sized church (bewteen 75 and 199 in attendance) would be making $52k in salary and a package of $60k.
3. Significant increases in compensation will not come until you have a church of 300 or greater in attendance, a level that only a fraction of ministers will ever reach.
4. In my state until you have a church with a budget $200,000 or over, the senior pastor is going to have a total package of under $60k.
5. When the senior pastor hits his mid thirties, or let’s say forty, he is very close to topping out in his compensation. Chew on that one.
6. A pastor making the SBC average whose wife is a teacher, nurse, or other professional will likely easily have a six figure family income.
How does this compare to what you are seeing on the ground?