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Leader's Insight: 3 Surprises on What Pastors Get Paid

Results from Christianity Today International's latest nationwide research.

Our research team here at Christianity Today International just finished surveying more than 2,000 churches, and next month, we'll be releasing the most comprehensive, up-to-date church salary survey we've ever done. While The 2008 Compensation Handbook for Church Staff is at the printer, here is a sneak peek at some results:

1. If you want to earn more, change denominations.
Briefly, if you want to earn more as a senior pastor, become a Presbyterian. If you want to earn more as a youth pastor, become a Baptist.

Presbyterian senior pastors earned the most in our survey—their average salary plus housing/parsonage was $78,000, while Baptist senior pastors earned next to last—$67,000. But virtually the opposite was true for youth pastors. Baptist youth pastors earned near the top—$44,000 in salary plus housing, while Presbyterian youth pastors earned near the bottom—$36,000. Why?

The answer comes from two factors: church income and denominational values.

Our research ...

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