RNS Large churches in the South tend to pay their senior pastors the highest salaries, a new survey finds. A total of North American churches with attendance ranging from 1, to more than 30, answered questions, more than double the number of congregations featured in previous studies. The survey found that 14 percent of large churches have a financial bonus structure for their top leader. And one in five of the big congregations find ways to collect their money other than passing the proverbial offering plate. Warren Bird, research director at Leadership Network, said pastors have long held a lofty place of authority in the South, and that may be why they are paid more in that region. Northeastern churches are the second-highest paying, followed by the West and the Midwest. The lowest-paying region in North America is Canada. The higher pastor salaries in the South contrast with lower-than-average wages for the region. For example:. In fact, the common pay raise also reflects a wider social trend. Towers Watson, a Virginia-based professional services company, released a separate survey Monday Sept. Researchers for the large-churches survey found that donations are slightly higher at those churches that pass hwo plate, but all churches in the study offered more than one option for giving: 81 percent provide online giving options; 37 percent had a fo box in the lobby; and 25 percent had an electronic kiosk in the lobby. Far surpassing churches of other sizes, congregations with more than 10, paators were least likely to pass offering plates.
All Rights Reserved. Powered by WordPress. The salary figures do not include the value of benefits. Leadership Network has been tracking salary and benefits in large churches since It has found that the median salary has largely remained the same over the past few years even as attendance at those churches increased. Eighty-three percent of the surveyed churches said they grew in attendance between and Only 10 percent reported no change and 7 percent said they saw a decrease. Weekend worship attendance at the churches range from 1, to 14, and respondents represent 38 states and four Canadian provinces. Most of the surveyed churches have some debt, but the amount is equal to or less than the total amount of its annual budget. All surveyed churches with 2, or more in weekend attendance provide medical insurance to full-time staff. Ninety-three percent of churches with an attendance of 1,, persons offer medical insurance. The salary survey is not a true random sample and findings are not statistically accurate for all larger churches, nor are they longitudinal, Leadership Network noted. The data, however, indicates many general trends and provides a current picture of compensation practices in very large churches. Photos 27 items.
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Preacher’s salaries have become a subject of debate with the increasing number of mega-churches and wealthy preachers. Though many church leaders work without compensation, preaching is a career and most preachers receive a regular income from various church and other sources. Most churches pay a pastor salary that is established by contract. The amount of salary varies based on the size of the church and the congregation. Mega-churches have congregations in excess of 5, members. This is far greater that the average salary of a preacher. The U.
The salaries of pastors in mega churches has been a topic of controversy in the last few years, to say the least. Whether a pastor should earn more than the average of his congregants is a touchy subject for many in the Christian church community. The perks that come with the job on top of the salary, including life and health insurance, educational benefits, housing allowances and more, can increase base salaries significantly. A mega church is a non-Catholic church that has more than 2, congregants on the average weekend. Some churches have upwards of 15, to 20, attendees. About churches in the U. In , only 10 churches were considered mega churches. By , that number had risen to The average number of attendees at a mega church is over 3, In a report by the Leadership Network in , the average salaries of pastors at mega churches in 38 states and four Canadian provinces were reported. The salaries reported in the survey do not include the value of benefits, but it did include housing allowances. Medical insurance is offered in most, if not all, mega churches to full-time staff members. Some mega church pastors do not take a salary at all from their churches. Leyla Norman has been a writer since and is a certified English as a second language teacher. She also has a master’s degree in development studies and a Bachelor of Arts in anthropology. Share It. About the Author. Photo Credits. Copyright Leaf Group Ltd.
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The Congregation’s Contributions
A study of American emga Canadian megachurches revealed 12 significant observations about the salaries of senior and executive pastors. The reportrecently released by the Leadership Network and Vanderbloemen Search Group, included 26 percent of all American megachurches 1, large churchesalong with 56 churches in Canada, all of which had average weekly attendance of 30, to Across a mix of ethnicities including, Caucasian, African-American, Hispanic, and Asian churches, here’s what they found:. Executive staff, positions how much money do mega church pastors make to or below senior pastors, chhrch a 3. This figure was above the annual U. Senior pastors received an additional 21 percent in cash value of benefits, including health insurance, retirement, and bonuses. Executive pastors were nearly the same at 20 percent. Of the participating churches, 49 percent of total budgets, including general funds and restricted funds, was spent on staffing costs — salary, benefits and related expenses. Church budget was the biggest predictor of the salaries of top-tier staff senior pastors and executive pastors. Other factors can include, geography, theological tradition, and even race. Ninety-eight percent of a church’s total budget came from congregational giving.