Will Churches Pay More in 2013?
Get $15 in church resources for taking our compensation survey.

A few months ago, our friend Warren Bird at Leadership Network informally surveyed nearly 600 Protestant churches to find out their plans for hiring and pay raises in 2013. The survey results appeared encouraging: 74 percent expected to give raises and 62 percent expected to hire at least one new staff member this year, with the biggest increases (in terms of both compensation and hiring) coming in larger-sized churches.

Less than 3 percent anticipated cutting salaries.

The last time we surveyed churches in America about their compensation levels, our data showed a 1.7 percent increase in pay and benefits (compared to the prior year) for all 8,000 positions reported. In the 2010-2011 compensation survey, pay and benefits declined an average of 1.4 percent from the year before.

So churches appeared to be rebounding, at least slightly, on the compensation front. Will that hold true again this year?

As you contemplate pay and benefits for pastors and staff in 2013, we hope you'll take a moment to complete our newest compensation survey. We'll combine your anonymous responses with thousands of other church employees in our upcoming 2014-2015 Compensation Handbook for Church Staff, a resource that helps churches set salaries and benefits using accurate, comparable data based on a variety of factors, including church denomination, income budget, size, and geographical setting.

As a token of our appreciation for helping us with this important survey, you'll receive $15 toward any resources we offer at YourChurchResources.com. Please take a moment to help us today!

To go deeper on this topic, take a look at this graphic breaking down pay and benefits for full-time senior pastors; read about the importance of using a compensation study; check out this multipart series on churches and compensation planning; and compare the top seven paid positions on church staffs.

For pastors in particular, Richard Hammar also offers three key considerations when structuring compensation plans.

This content is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. It is published with the understanding that the publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting, or other professional service. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional person should be sought. "From a Declaration of Principles jointly adopted by a Committee of the American Bar Association and a Committee of Publishers and Associations


Displaying 1–3 of 3 comments


January 18, 2013  10:30am

Paula–Thanks for your comment. We understand your concerns. All responses are held confidentially–in the roughly 20 years of conducting this survey, we have never had an issue. We hope you'll participate!

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January 18, 2013  9:52am

I am interested in taking the survey and seeing the results, but hopeful that individual names, churches, etc., will be held as confidential. Thank you!

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Katrina, Sunday School Blogger

January 11, 2013  3:42pm

I'm so glad that you're taking the time to survey your readers on this important topic. I'm extremely interested in seeing the kinds of results that you get—will the ybe surprising? Or exactly what I expected? (Only time will tell.) Now it's my turn to go take the survey and get my $15 credit! Thank you so much!

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