Then be prepared to demonstrate your value as an employee. Have you taken on more responsibilities in your role? How has your ministry increased over the last year? What expectations and goals have you exceeded? Come to the conversation prepared to explain the work you’ve accomplished over a certain period of time.
David Miller, lead coaching associate at church staffing organization Slingshot Group, echoes this advice. Miller coaches pastors and other church employees during initial job offers, as well as during salary negotiations. He says it’s very common to talk to pastors, especially young ones, who feel they deserve a raise simply for sticking with a job for a year or more. “But their ministry isn’t growing,” says Miller. For getting a raise, often “it comes down to ‘why do you deserve this?’”
Tell your supervisor about how your ministry has grown before you sit down to talk about a raise, Miller advises. Keep them informed about the positive changes and updates in your ministry prior to the conversation so that it’s not a surprise.
Have the Right Timing
Timing is also crucial. Miller advises church employees to ask for a raise when church leaders are working on a new budget or near the end of a budget cycle—not during a season of bad giving or during employee reviews. “Typically people aren’t setting their budget around review time,” said Miller. “I actually think that is a time to plant seeds, but [it’s] probably not a time to ask for the raise.”