Large Church Salary Resources

This page lists several resources, starting with the most current — each full of trends, benchmarks, comparisons and other insights about salary, staffing, budget and other financial issues.

2016 Large Church Salary Study AVAILABLE NOW!

Based on data from our 2016 study of 1,251 large churches, this report offers an exclusive perspective on benchmarks, ratios and trending developments found in churches with weekly worship attendances from over 30,000 down to 500, with focus on top-tier staff. The goal of the report is to help church leaders, especially those of innovative larger churches, who want to learn from each other’s practices and build healthier systems for their churches.

The report comes in two editions:

12 Salary Trends Every Church Leader Should Know: EXECUTIVE SUMMARY of the 2016 Large Church Salary Study

This 14-page graphic-rich report offers select metrics on pay raises, bonuses, total staffing costs, top salary predictors, outsourcing patterns, and more. It also includes a participant overview and an international section (mostly Canada). Available as a free download here.

complete-report-2016-large-church-salary-report12 Salary Trends Every Church Leader Should Know: 2016 Large Church Salary Study – COMPLETE REPORT 

Our most comprehensive study to date, this report contains 35 pages of more than 20 tables and graphics, giving details and metrics on pay raises, bonuses, total staffing costs, top salary predictors, outsourcing patterns, and more—often grouping them by church size (500-999, 1,000s, 2,000s, 3,000s, 4,000s, 5,000s, etc.). It then provides additional material on multisite dynamics, salary ranges (however it does not include detailed, role-specific salary tables), retirement and healthcare contributions, and more. It also includes a participant overview and an international section (mostly Canada).  Available for $499, click here

Want to go to the next level of tailoring salaries to your specific context?

custom-benefits-analysisCustom Compensation and Benefit Analysis

Our partner Vanderbloemen Search Group, a premier church consulting firm, provides a tailored, objective compensation analysis specifically geared to your church’s size, geographic setting, specific job descriptions, and type of church. Dave Travis, CEO of Leadership Network advises, “Every church with income over 2 million dollars needs a custom survey every two or three years because:

  • It mitigates the legal risk of your church regarding compensation. An analysis can help avoid potential blind spots for churches regarding pay, severance, and benefits.
  • The competition for quality staff is high and you never want people to leave because their compensation package.
  • You never want to be surprised with “sticker shock” when you go to hire a new position. You might as well be competitive at all times.
  • Scrutiny is constantly increasing on these issues from outside groups and governmental agencies. The wise approach is to have outside help give you qualified opinions to help you make well-informed choices.”

To learn more about the custom compensation analysis, contact Vanderbloemen Search Group at or 713.300.9665.

Other Reports Available

2 Free Financial Infographics

infographicscollageLeaders constantly monitor their budget trends, so Leadership Network has prepared two infographics, each drawn from original research and each designed to provide helpful benchmarks from the latest in large-church research. 12 Top Salary Trends Every Church Leader Should Know from the 2016 Large Church Salary Study, and How Can These 13 Vital Benchmarks Increase Generosity In Your Church?

How Can Big Data Increase Generosity in Your Church? 13 Vital Benchmarks to Assess Giving Potential

big-data-socialshare_croppedChurch leaders teach their congregations to put God first in their finances, but they often don’t know how to assess their progress. The finance team may calculate a benchmark, only to wonder, “Are our numbers normal? high? low?” We sat down with the number crunchers at MortarStone, which has analyzed more than $1.5 billion in personal church giving, and asked them to calculate various benchmarks.

Inside Job: Large Church HR Directors Offer Unique Perspective on Their Work

The average tenure for fulltime paid staff in larger churches is 6.7 years, according to a research project fielded by Leadership Network. This average is longer than in most occupations, whether the public or the private sector, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This and other helpful insights come from a short, richly illustrated report. The information comes from a 2016 Leadership Network survey.

The Economic Outlook of Very Large Churches: Trends Driving the Budgets and Staffing Activities of North America’s Biggest Congregations

This report, published February, 2013, contains new research from our Fall 2012 Economic Outlook Survey, as well as previously unreleased information from our 2012 Salary Survey.

Lean Staffing: Churches That Handle Staff Costs in Under 35% of Budget

Highlights from of a Leadership Network study of churches we describe as “lean staff” – where 35% or less of the total budget goes to staff costs.