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General Interest

What Should You Pay Your Top WORSHIP Leader?

By April 11, 2016 No Comments

By Warren Bird

microphoneMost large churches invest huge time and energy into their weekend worship experiences. In some churches, such as Hillsong, the music may be better known and a bigger draw than the Bible teaching.

So how does the pay scale work for the top person over worship/music/creative arts? Here are some of our learnings from a 2014 survey:

1. Is the top worship person among the highest paid people at church?

Somewhat. Averaging 727 large churches together, the pay rankings are #1 lead/senior pastor, #2 executive pastor or church administrator, #3 senior associate pastor, #4 operations leader/COO, #5 teaching pastor, #6 administrative director and then #7 top worship person.

2. Does that salary change with church size?

Yes. The larger the church’s attendance, the higher the salary. What this probably means is that with each increase in size, the top worship person has a bigger team, more layers to manage, more complexity and responsibility in budgeting, and higher expectation of quality.

3. Is there much variation in salary at each church size for the top worship person?

Yes. For churches in the 1,000-1,999 attendance range, there’s roughly a 20% variation between the average (median) salary and either the 25th or 75th percentile of counterparts in other churches. This range decreases steadily as church size increases. So by the time a church hits 10,000, there’s only a 10% variation between the average (median) salary and either the 25th or 75th percentile.

4. What are the actual dollar amounts for these salaries?

If you’ll take part in our 2016 Large Church Salary, Staff and Budget Survey, you’ll receive actual tables for various salaries in churches your size, plus a webinar to ask Q&A with the survey director, and even a chance to win one of ten different $100 Amazon gift certificates.

Details are here: US churches, Canadian churches, other International churches.

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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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