Multiplication Center

What’s the Best Compensation Report for Our Church Situation?

August 15, 2018

Last month, Leadership Network released our latest editions of the Large Church Compensation Reports. On our updated salary page you will see LOTS of choices. Those aren’t meant to confuse you, but rather to let you choose the mix of the reports that are best for you. There are three things you need to understand about our products.

First, for LARGER churches, we are the leader in providing, analyzing and supplying data for large church decision makers. We began doing informal surveys of staff salaries in 1995, and began formally collecting and publishing data in 2001 due to the high volume of requests from church leaders.

Every other year we have published summary reports and other data so that church leadership teams can make wise decisions.

When we say larger churches, we mean those that average at least 500 in worship attendance weekly. However, our data sets contains more churches over 1000, and more churches over 2000, than any other set. We have not only current year data, but longitudinal data over many years now.

If your church is below 500 in attendance, there are other, better surveys that can probably serve your needs.

Second, we collect not only compensation data, but extensive information about raises, income for churches, and other practices.

Third, and most importantly, each year we listen to feedback from prior years purchasers and users to build the current and future reports. For example, after feedback from users, we shifted to asking for “total compensation” instead of just salary. Church decision makers, governing boards and staff, wanted an easy way to look at “what this position costs the church.” This helps normalize the various levels of benefits that some churches offer.

While some professional compensation folks from industry and business may object to this method, we feel this fits better for churches who have things like housing allowances and other factors to examine.

So which of the reports available now are best for you?

Useful for All Churches
Our FREE summary report: “7 Vital Benchmarks in Church Compensation – Findings from the Large Church Salary, Staff and Benefits Survey.” Dr. Warren Bird found both interesting and useful findings that help give context and overarching information that are needed for understanding.

Our Most Requested Product
The “2018 Compensation Tables: Are You Paying Your Church Staff too Much? Too Little? Or Just Right? Get the Right Answer!” is a paid product and you buy it by church size. It includes tables for all roles on which we gathered data not only by church attendance, but also by income and number of staff with ways you can adjust the data for your particular geography. If you purchase it now we also include an extra bonus of a bundle of campus pastor job descriptions.

The report gives you the 25th, 50th, and 75th percentiles for each role for the three different factors. Decision makers have 9 data points for each role PLUS the cost of living calculator for all the roles.

Our New Product – Greater Confidence for Compensation Oversight
The Tailored Compensation Report is a custom report that is done in consultation with the church. It includes data from over 2000 churches and over 23,000 individual salaries across the country. Based on a data sheet provided by the church, we run a custom report with the closest data points to your church for the requested roles. Each report also provides suggestions as to how to bring your church’s compensation up to current standards, as well as a qualified letter as to reasonable tests regarding your compensation amounts.

Beyond these reports we maintain our relationship with Vanderbloemen Search Group for even more custom work. Perhaps you are seeking an analysis not only of compensation but various grades and steps within roles. Several of our friends have wanted extensive analysis and work for various multisite situations. Vanderbloemen Search is the exact right source for working with your team to figure these complex situations.

Finally, our 2016 report, a paid product, is still available. Why is it needed? That report was more narrative in nature and included extensive descriptions and analysis. This report contains 35 pages with more than 20 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. It then provides additional material on multisite dynamics, salary ranges.

If you are a large church executive or overseer, you need one or more of these. Go get them now:

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