Multiplication Center

Do Churches Give Financial Bonuses?

April 18, 2016

by Warren Bird

Small-Business-Holiday-Employee-BonusesWe’ve conducted large church salary, economic outlook, staff and budget surveys since 2001. Many of our questions come from people who ask us, “How do other churches our size handle ….?” The researcher in me often says, “Let’s find out” — especially if no one else has studied the issue.

Does your church give financial bonuses? That’s something people have asked us about lately. We first explored it in 2014, asking, “Do you have a financial bonus structure in place for the senior pastor?” One in 7 churches said yes.

So for our 2016 Large Church Salary, Staff and Budget Survey (it’s still open, you’re not too late to participate!), we asked several questions:
– In the last 12 months, did you give a financial bonus to the lead/senior pastor?
– If yes, how is it calculated?
– How did you determine any financial bonuses for people OTHER than senior/lead pastor?

Those who participate in the survey will receive a breakdown of the responses. I’ll go public now with the final question we ask about bonuses:
– How satisfied are you that you’ve hit on a good system for your financial bonuses?

Of more than 600 churches that have participated in the survey thus far:

– 28% are dissatisfied (9% Very dissatisfied, and 19% somewhat dissatisfied).
– 72% are satisfied (50% somewhat satisfied and 22% very satisfied).

There are lots of perks ONLY to those that participate in our large church survey, from size-specific salary tables to a chance to win one of ten $100 Amazon gift cards. Here again is the link:

Please pass this blog to the person at your church who is privy to salary and growth data. If you’d like to know whether your church has already participated, please email

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