You were young then.
While your friends applied to law, medical, or business school, you applied to theological school.
Now, years later, your friends drive Eddie Bauer edition Ford Explorers; you drive used, four-door sedans. Your friends take winter vacations in Colorado; you take road trips to your in-laws. Your friends sock away money for their children's college tuition and for retirement; you can do neither adequately.
Just to confirm the obvious, here are several average or median salaries of professionals in 1996:
—director of engineering: $100,000
—school superintendent: $96,229
—manufacturing vice-president: $97,000
—top executive officer (nonprofit administration): $160,000
Some pastors, but only a few, command such salaries. An associate pastor of a suburban congregation in the South earns $100,000.
Meanwhile, an acquaintance pastors a rural, western congregation of 200. He, his wife, and his four children live in a double-wide ...1