We have had a fairly lively discussion of the Rev Dr. Plodder’s post on pastor’s salaries. A few pastors shared that they were paid above average, most claimed to be below average in compensation. I have another question that I thought might be an interesting discussion.
Is your salary public information at the church?
In my experience, it is common practice in smaller churches for the pastor’s salary to be public information. In larger churches, that information is kept private. Often, the budget is presented with a line item that groups all staff and support staff salaries/expenses/benefits into one line item.
It seems to me that there are competing values here. On the one hand, I serve the people of my church and they have some right to know how much they are paying me. On the other hand, most businesses keep salary information confidential and it is a little embarrassing to have my compensation known to the world.
What does your church do? Does everyone know your salary?
Here’s what we do at Southern Hills Baptist Church where we have three full-time pastors (including me, of course). At our budget business meeting in December we put the complete financial support plan package on the PowerPoint for the church to see – one slide for each of the pastors. Salary, housing, benefits, expense account; its all up there. But the printed budget and the monthly financial reports that we distribute list staff compensation as one line item. We tell our members that if any of them want to know exactly how much one of the pastors makes, they are free to request that information from the church office (generally not in writing). That is our attempt to balance salary confidentiality with transparency.
What does your church do?
What should your church do?