No Raise for Pastors

Survey shows average salary and benefits decline.

About half the nation's full-time pastors report they received no salary increase in the past year, continuing a downturn in salaries among top leaders in churches, according to a new survey published by Christianity Today International and Leadership. In fact, the extensive survey, published in the 2010-2011 Compensation Handbook for Church Staff, shows a slight decline or stall in pay levels for the majority of all church staff positions surveyed.

"While offerings remained relatively steady for many churches through 2008," said Dan Busby, president of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability, "by early 2009, churches began feeling the impact of rising unemployment in the offering plates. The impact on salaries, shown by this survey, is simply part of the larger picture of the effect of the economy on churches."

Total compensation for all lead pastors (combined solo and senior pastors' data), including housing, insurance, and retirement benefits, was down about 2.4%. Solo pastors ...

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