Jump directly to the Content

Setting Staff Salaries

Churches often fail to count the hidden costs of poor salaries.
—Wayne Pohl

The importance of paying pastors an adequate wage was a lesson learned the hard way early in my ministry.

I graduated near the top of my seminary class. I had high hopes of securing a well-paying position, yet my first call was to a mission congregation. To my knowledge, I was offered the lowest salary of anyone in my graduating class. Of course, I accepted the call, failing to realize the impact an inadequate income could have on the morale of me and my family. To use a biblical phrase, I was zealous without knowledge.

Trying to set an example for my flock, I even tithed on this substandard salary.

One Saturday my wife and I were out canvassing the neighborhood on behalf of the church. About noon we decided to stop at Burger King and grab lunch. We were tired and hungry as we stepped up to the counter. After we ordered, we each looked to the other to pay. As we opened our wallets, we realized that neither of us had ...

Support Our Work

Subscribe to CT for less than $4.25/month

Homepage Subscription Panel

Read These Next

From the Magazine
Yes, Charisma Has a Place in the Pulpit
Yes, Charisma Has a Place in the Pulpit
But let’s not mistake it for calling.
Editor's Pick
What Christians Miss When They Dismiss Imagination
What Christians Miss When They Dismiss Imagination
Understanding God and our world needs more than bare reason and experience.