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Pastors’ Pay: Who Sets It and How?

How can a fair, equitable salary for pastors be determined? Manfred Holck, Jr. gives some practical guidelines.

It makes a difference who sets the pastor's pay? and how it is done. In some congregations only one person's influence matters; in others the whole congregation gets into the act. But in every congregation there are various persons, committees, and groups that influence how much is paid. It may be done overtly or behind the scenes. But it is done.

Pastors consider staying put or leaving their congregations for a variety of reasons, but a generous compensation plan is a strong attraction. Those who move do so because a new opportunity may offer a new challenge. That is not to say that preachers are in the business to make more money each time they move, but the consequence is still the same. There is usually more money in the next place up.

Thus the people in a congregation who set pay can influence a pastor's decision and attitudes greatly, from deciding to continue at that place or move elsewhere, to being productive or lazy, to being insecure or optimistic. Surely it is the Lord who issues ...

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