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Are You Paying Your Staff Too Much? (Or Not Enough?)

By February 10, 2016 No Comments


By Warren Bird

Larger churches face a lot of tough questions about paying their pastors and staff:

  • Does a founding pastor generally get the same pay as a successor pastor in a similar-size church?
  • Is campus pastor pay typically based more on size of overall church or size of specific campus?
  • What’s the average salary difference between the #1 person and the #2 person in a church your size?
  • How much does senior pastor pay differ, say, in a church of 5,000 vs a church of 15,000?

Churches 50 to 1000+ in size have some great compensation sources available, such as here. For even larger churches, Leadership Network has established what’s widely accepted as the “gold standard” in large-church benchmarks and trends, enabling us to create trusted reports for pastors, boards and church HR leaders since 2001.

It all starts with taking part in Leadership Network’s 2016 Large Church Salary, Staff and Budget Survey, open now. A church’s answers to this set of questions is kept private, secure and highly confidential – we NEVER release any individual data.

Five compelling reasons to participate

  1. In addition to the richly illustrated executive summary (free), you will ALSO receive–again free–the $499 report with actual salary tables for your church size plus census-data “multiplier” numbers to adjust them to the geography and economics of your specific area.
  2. There will be an invitation for anyone in your church to a free video webcast with early findings (open only to churches that participated in the survey) including Q&A with the survey director.
  3. You will have a chance to win a $100 Amazon gift card (10 given away to randomly selected participants).
  4. You will help literally thousands of other churches who will learn from you, even if anonymously.
  5. Nowhere else will you learn from so many really large churches. The payback in information you’ll receive is well worth asking one of your staff members to participate in the survey.

What YOU will learn from the FREE report your church receives for participating:

1. Is your top-tier staff paid the “market” rate for churches your size?
2. What factors most influence top-tier salaries in churches like yours?
3. What ratios and benchmarks are most helpful for churches in your size range?
4. What percent of budget goes to staffing costs in very large churches?
5. Which salary and staffing issues might change as your church increases (or decreases) in size?

NEW this year:

  • The survey is shorter.
  • We’ll integrate census data into 10 different areas of our analysis.
  • We do more with campus pastor and executive pastor salaries.
  • We explore bonuses.
  • And more.

It is absolutely worth asking a staff member to fill out the survey. We look forward to serving you through the resources we provide exclusively to those who participate. Click here to participate in the survey!

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Warren Bird

Author Warren Bird

Warren Bird, Ph.D. has been named a Leadership Network Senior Fellow in light of his exemplary service 2006-2018 as Director of Research and Intellectual Capital Development at Leadership Network. He serves as full-time VP of Research for ECFA.org (Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability). An ordained minister with background as both a pastor and seminary professor, Warren is an award-winning author or co-author of 31 books for ministry leaders including Hero Maker with Dave Ferguson, How to Break Church Growth Barriers with Carl George, and Next: Pastoral Succession that Works with William Vanderbloemen. Other recent titles are Better Together: Making Church Mergers Work with Jim Tomberlin, and Wisdom from Lyle E. Schaller. Some of Warren’s recent online reports include "Leadership Network/Generis Multisite Church Scorecard," and "The Heartbeat of Rising Influence Churches." See also research reports at leadnet.org/megachurchleadnet.org/salary and leadnet.org/portable. He is widely recognized as one of the nation's leading researchers of megachurches, multisite churches, large church compensation and high-visibility pastoral succession. He also oversees the world's only active, sortable list of global megachurches. Follow him on Twitter @warrenbird.  Click here to subscribe to Leadership Network Advance to get updates from Leadership Network.

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