QUESTION: HOW MUCH DO PASTORS MAKE?
- A: On average, an ordained Protestant pastor serving a small congregation received a median salary and housing package of $31,234, according to a study by sociologist Jackson Carroll. But there is a wide disparity in compensation between Protestant pastors serving small congregations and those serving medium and large congregations. For example, a Protestant pastor serving a congregation of more than 1,000 members received a median salary and housing package of $81,923. Considering that the vast majority of churches in the United States are small, the overall compensation package for Protestant pastors is low when compared with teachers and social workers. Roman Catholic priests earned less than Protestant pastors, in part because they have no family to support. Depending on the size of the parish, the median salary for Catholic priests runs between $21,000 and $26,095. Jewish rabbis earn more than Roman Catholic and Protestant pastors combined.
PERSONAL SALARY AND TOTAL PACKAGE:
- I served in 1971-73 in Minford Ohio as pastor of a church. Salary and housing: $1,820 that is per year. ($35 per week in 1973) In 1980 my first year at FBC in Altoona Kansas, salary: $2600 plus a house. In 1996 my last year at FBC: $15,600 total package. In 2001 my last church, brief stay, $24,000 total package. (Membership was 450). Last church I was asso pastor total package $10,400 in 2003. Last church I worked in for a real brief time: pay: none. In all these churches I worked just as hard as if I were getting the biggest salary. I worked full time in the ministry.
- And Charity and I raised Eric, Becky, Chad and Kyle. While in Altoona, for sixteen years, Charity didn't work outside the home. I did have a full time job working as a supervisor at at Nursing Home for ten years ($260 in 1996). And I put in over forty hours in the ministry of the church. ($300).
- The purpose of this article is not to address what preachers should get paid. Preachers should be paid. Personally I don't believe preachers should have another job. Sometimes its necessary. Personally I don't believe preachers should every think they are working for the Lord part time.
- I often hear at Fellowship Meetings, the comment is: "Will all the "full time preachers/pastors stand up." What they mean is those who work only for the church? Every pastor should be full time in the ministry. Even when you have another secular job, you should give yourself to the ministry. My personal opinion.
- Since there is really no biblical guidelines on salary for pastors and staff its up the the church to make that decision. What I am saying and have practice for all my ministry is do it unto the Lord. Every church has a responsibility to take care of the pastor and his family, they should have no needs that the church is not willing to take care of. FBC in Altoona, always it seemed took good care of us for sixteen years.
- As for being on a church staff, my experience has been good and bad. Few churches that I have been the Youth Pastor, etc. has been a pleasant experience with the Pastor. Pastors generally want someone they can control. Most pastors it seems that I have worked with, want us to look like them, talk like them, be like them, and never be better then them.
- One pastor said to me "Who gave you that authority to change those chairs around in the class room?" I said "my position!" He didn't like that. Another time, I took some Deacon coats that was haning up on a rack for over two years, down, changed the coat handers, and the pastor came almost unglued. He felt he had lost control of the coat hangers. I really could tell you a number of times where the pastor wanted control over the place the bus or van was to be parted. Preachers are funny. And worse of all, when the membership begin to like you, you know you are on your way out the door of the church.
- I mother said to me way back in 1968, "Charles if you are successful at the church, the pastor will have you out the door and painting his houses." And that was the truth, and still is today. In 1968 or 2008 its still the same.
- What personally the pastor or churches does to you, just or unjust, you must be able to say at the end of the day, or your time at the church, "I have done with all my being, the best I could do, for the glory of the Lord. And I will continue to serve the Lord with that spirit."