For church leaders, Fletcher emphasizes the importance of establishing a culture in your church in which employees feel comfortable coming to the leadership and asking about a raise: “set a culture where church members can make their needs known.”
Know Why You Deserve It
Are you, underpaid, overpaid, or paid fairly? And how do you know?
Research shows most people think they’re underpaid, even when they’re not. This tells us that people in general—including those working in ministry—are susceptible to overestimating the value of their work. In the church setting, however, underpaying ministry staff is an all too common reality. Studies show it, and church culture experts lament it. But using objective compensation data—like the kind provided in Church Law & Tax’s compensation handbook—is the critical step in knowing if your pay is fair. You should have some objective standards as the basis for judging how fair your current pay is.
According to Fletcher, church employees should come to salary conversations prepared to explain exactly why they deserve a raise. If you’re planning on approaching church leadership, do your homework and find out what other people make who are in the same (or similar) position at other churches of a similar size and similar budget. You’ll want a compensation source that can guide your salary expectations based on your role, education, skills, work experience, and where you live.