How to Turn Salary Data into a Real Compensation Package
    Join us for our October 24 webinar to learn how to go from objective data to subjective context.
    How to Turn Salary Data into a Real Compensation Package

    Setting reasonable and fair compensation for employees is important whether the organization is a for-profit or nonprofit entity, like a church. But, as CPA Elaine Sommerville notes in Church Compensation, the stakes for nonprofits and churches are much higher.

    “A significant difference between businesses and churches is the potential tax consequences,” says Sommerville. “Businesses usually can keep operating, even when they run afoul of the tax rules. Churches, however, face tax penalties and the loss of tax exemption … both of which can threaten their very existence.”

    For this reason alone, setting reasonable compensation in churches is a critical task. It involves both objective and subjective components. Tools like ChurchSalary provide the objective component: data relevant to churches. But the subjective element requires skill and discernment.

    Once you have salary data, what are you supposed to do with it? How can you take general data and use it to create a compensation package that’s right for your unique context and the employee’s skills and experience?

    This “next step” after salary data is so important, which is why we’re bringing in veteran executive pastor David Fletcher of XPastor to host a webinar on Wednesday, October 24, at 12 p.m. Eastern (11 a.m. Central) that provides guidance.

    “I Have Salary Data—Now What? An Insider’s Look at Setting Reasonable Church Compensation”is a free one-hour webinar. In it, Fletcher will discuss practical and effective ways churches can (and should) use data to set reasonable compensation. Fletcher will help pastors and church leaders understand where to get reliable information, how to make sense of it, and how to use it in a manner that honors God, honors people, and helps congregations flourish. Join us!

    Register here.

    Samuel Ogles is associate editor and special project manager for Church Law & Tax. He is the project leader for ChurchSalary.

    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."

    Due to the nature of the U.S. legal system, laws and regulations constantly change. The editors encourage readers to carefully search the site for all content related to the topic of interest and consult qualified local counsel to verify the status of specific statutes, laws, regulations, and precedential court holdings.


    If you found this article helpful, subscribe to for access to more articles like this one.

    Become a Church Law & Tax Member



    Experience a whole new way to set compensation. Eliminate the guesswork – get access to detailed compensation reports in just minutes.

    Avoiding Church Lawsuits

    Avoiding Church Lawsuits Member access only

    Create proactive procedures to avoid common reasons why churches most often go to court.
    Managing the Legal Risks of Lay Counseling

    Managing the Legal Risks of Lay Counseling Member access only

    Develop specific policies and procedures that protect your church, lay caregivers, and those who receive care.