When Steve Hoden first became pastor of Salem Covenant Church in Oakland, Nebraska, he had one request for the church board: take care of his family.
The church board knew the cost to live in the rural community. So Hoden trusted the board members to do the right thing when it came to setting his compensation. The church, he said, always did.
"We've never talked money for 14 years," said Hoden, who recently retired.
Now the church is looking for Hoden's successor. That includes figuring out how much to pay the new pastor. It's a complicated task. And the church can use all the help it can get, said Jim Goth, chairman of Salem Covenant.
"We're starting all over," he said. "I have no idea what the starting salary for a new pastor should be."
Many churches are in a similar position. Compensation setting is complex, and treasurers and other financial managers must walk alongside board members as they learn how to navigate these complexities. With that in mind, Church Finance Today asked several financial experts and church leaders for their insights into what boards and finance committees need to know about setting pay for pastors.