>Setting The Pastor’s Salary

>money rollphoto © 2007 zack Mccarthy | more info (via: Wylio)
Setting my salary has always been a somewhat uncomfortable affair.  From a worldly sense, I know that I could be making more money elsewhere…you know doing something that’s NOT what God called me to…like, I don’t know…acting or graphic design or something with computers…wait…take off acting…too many struggling actors.

Anyway, I always find it difficult to ask for money from a congregation that doesn’t have much expendable income when, really, I can’t see myself doing anything else anyway.  What was it that I was told way back in the early days of exploring ministry?  “Don’t be a pastor unless you can’t do anything else!”  (In other words, “don’t be a pastor unless this is what God and persons have called you to”…not “don’t be a pastor unless you are totally unskilled or gifted in any other area.”  I like what I do.  I like the intimacy.  I like the worship.  I like the study.  I can be a little uncomfortable around the financial numbers when they’re about me, though.

So, when it’s time to set my salary at Girdwood, (which it was last week) I’ve appreciated that there’s not much wiggle room.  We don’t have much money, so they aren’t going to pay me much more than the minimum.  And “the minimum” is set.  So, this is not a tough bargaining arrangement.

But, this leaves open what type of framework should we use when discussing salary issues with our pastor.  I found the following over at The Resurgence helpful in this regard.  I hope to use it next time I need to sit down and discuss salary. It, at least brings the discussion along Biblical lines.

Scriptures that the senior pastor should bear in mind:

  • I am not doing this for gain (2 Cor. 2:17; 1 Tim. 3:8; 1 Tim. 6:5; Titus 1:7).
  • I am free from love of money, and am content trusting God (Heb. 11:5-6).
  • I am above reproach, and at pains to do what is right in the eyes of God and man (1 Tim. 3:2; 2 Cor 8:21).
  • My followers owe me nothing—I will gladly spend myself for them (2 Cor. 12:14).
  • I consider devotion to me as if to God; I will pour it out to the Lord (1 Chron. 11:18).

Scriptures that those who help set the pastor’s salary should bear in mind:

  • My leaders are worthy of double honor (1 Tim. 5:17).
  • My aim is to make their lives a joy (Heb. 13:17).
  • I can be attentive to their needs, and quick to try to help, and alert to give them support and encouragement (1 Chron. 11:18).
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