Other than the size of a church, how should a minister's salary be determined?
How much do you think it should be and why?
He or she should get what Jesus got. Pretty much nothing! It should be a volunteer job. There should be several volunteers for the position.
Large churches can hire business managers for the mundane issues and let the vols handle the spiritual aspect.
Nothing. The congregation should support the church, as well as should the minister, bishop, clergyman, or rabbi. It should not be a full time job.
If every member of the congregation pitched in just the smallest amount, the entire congregation could be ran without having to pay someone to preach.
Just think of how much more charitable your church could be if nobody got paid, and everyone volunteered.
Firt of all, if the pastor is a completely vocational pastor, it is only right to make sure that the salary is sufficient to live on. In the case of a bi-vocational pastor, the pastor's other income can be taken into account.
Many people think that pastors should not be paid, but if we are talking about the decision being made by a church that follows the Bible, then they should follow what the Bible says on the matter. Some point to 1 Corinthians 9 as indicating that Paul did not take pay for preaching, and that therefore, it is not God's will that we have a paid clergy. But even a casual reading of that chapter will reveal otherwise. Verse 14 declares, "In the same way, the Lord has commanded that those who preach the Gospel should receive their living from the Gospel." It cannot be asserted that Paul's relinquishing of his right to earning a living from the Gospel countermands a command from God, and Paul's statements in the chapter make it clear that Paul knew he was entitled to this pay, but chose not to take it. If the clergy are to make their living from the Gospel, then a living it must be. A guide for an appropriate level of pay might begin with the mean salary of the parishioners whom the pastor serves. I do think that it is ok to consider the level of education and experience as well as the on-call nature of the ministry when setting a salary. I do not believe that the size of the church should necessarily be taken into account, as those who shepherd huge churches might well earn lavish salaries, not commenserate with the needs of a pastor and his family. But neither should they be impoverished and at the mercy of a stingy congregation who can afford to pay a living wage.
Ultimately, the congregation should realize that it is God to whom they will answer, whether it is for failing to pay the workman his wages (1 Tim 5) or for wasting God's money on extravegant salaries.
If everyone involved in religion just got the barest amount necessary to sustain themselves without any frills or benefits, I suspect religion would be a lot less popular nowadays.
The church should pay the going rate. That means it should, and in fact must, pay what it takes to hire the preacher it wants. More than that is gratuitous, less is ineffective.
All the factors otherwise mentioned go into that decision. Is the minister to be full time or part time? What's expected of him? Are fringe benefits involved?
Those and other questions are basic ones that have to be asked in reaching a compensation agreement when the hiring, or a readjustment, occurs. Both the church's representatives and the priest have to consider them, and following negotiation they make a deal.
That's how it works. The rest of it is nonsensical.
I want to thank David Legg for taking the question seriously. Though it seems as though people have been taken advantage of, or perhaps they have just heard stories of people having been taken advantage of, I believe the bible does address the need to support those who share the gospel.
I feel like a lot needs to be considered but a few that come to mind are family size, cost of living for your particular area and finally prayer. I think talking with other churches who have experience in this would be helpful too.
There is a verse in Proverbs that wishes for neither riches nor poverty. Those who get rich become prideful and feel they don't need God. Those who are poor are tempted to steal.
Paul did some side work as a tentmaker, but still encourages churches to provide for those who minister to them. There are many factors that would go into pay. Is a parsonage or rectory provided? What is the cost of living in a given area? How large is the family? These issues could affect ministerial pay. I would say that a minister should not be kept poor intentionally (although there are many small congregations that cannot provide for a full-time pastoral staff), but I would also say that a minister probably should not be making $1 million/year. If pay is an issue in how well a minister does his job, I would question said minister's calling and devotion.
As has been suggested by other answers, the mean salary of the congregation is a good starting point. A pastor should not be asked to live below what his people are used to, but neither should he be enabled to live above it. Once that is established, consideration should be given to years of experience and education.
It's also important to assess the pastor's attitude toward the things of this world. Does he feel entitled to more than what he's getting; or is there thankful surprise for any increase offered?
While to be a pastor is a high callng, it is no more or less stressful than many other callings. Further there are perks that few other callings carry: you are free to manage your time as you deem fit, unless he runs off with the secretary or pirates the church treasury, it's a pretty secure job.
The Bible says the worker is worth his wages, yet the pastor of our church receives no salary. In fact he invests much of his own resources into the church. I happen to be the husband of the children's pastor who also receives no salary, yet we tithe a major portion of our income. The real question for leadership and laity alike should be, how much are you willing to invest in God's Kingdom? Each church, each pastor needs to deal with this independently. The pastor who needs compensation should receive what he requires assuming he is blessing his church with his leadership. My wife and I do not need it and neither does our pastor - it's amazing how God blesses a cheerful giver, whether the giving consists of money or time or both.
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