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CFTROU 0080: The Business on Church Business: Setting Senior Pastor Compensation

Setting the compensation of the senior pastor of a church is a significant decision and one best handled with transparency. It is so important for churches to establish how compensation should be determined and who should be responsible for setting it. Some pastors may want to have an open discussion with other church leaders about this topic. They might feel they are not being compensated enough, but may be uncertain of the best way to approach this. Our Family Church Business Administrator and CFO, Scott Crawford weighs in regarding what is involved with the compensation process. He talks about working with a volunteer-based board, who makes decisions, and to consider the message that compensation communicates.

Key Points:

  • Understand the weight of this topic and how to best handle it according to the context of your church.
  • The need for a church to establish its philosophy regarding compensation.
  • Defining compensation as a comprehensive package and what that entails.
  • Working with a committee on this and following IRS guidelines.
  • The three main things to consider when thinking about what a pastor should earn.
  • Encouragement for pastors to communicate financial needs to their church leadership.
  • The variables to consider when determining fair compensation.
  • Whether churches should make their salaries public.

Everyone wants their pastor to do okay, but not too okay. Click To TweetEverybody is looking at 'wealth' through their own perspective. Click To TweetEvery church is sending a message to their pastor through their compensation plan, and that message can either be positive or not. Click To Tweet

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:


Church Law & Tax



The Leadership Network

Scott Crawford on Twitter

Leslee Bennett on Twitter

Jimmy on Twitter

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