Church Staff Salaries: Better Private or Public?
Church Staff Salaries: Better Private or Public?
Balancing transparency and accountability with privacy is key—but no easy task.

Church salaries comprise a growing percentage of church budget allocations. Large churches spent 52 percent of their total budgets on staff salaries in 2018, compared to 49 percent in 2016, according to data from the biennial Large Church Salary Survey conducted by Leadership Network.

As Church Law & Tax has previously reported, churches have no legal obligation to disclose salaries to the public or to church members. Even where denominations ask for pastor salary data in annual reports, they often do not require the salaries to be itemized by person, said Dan Busby, president of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA).

As a result, it is often up to the church leaders at individual churches to decide how transparent they will be about salaries. Where churches report salaries to their congregations, they most often take the form of a lump sum that includes all salaries and fringe benefits and are not itemized by individual, Busby said.

Log In For Full Access

Interested in becoming a member? Learn more.

Posted: June 10, 2019
View All
from our store
How Churches Spend Their Money: 2019 Executive Report

How Churches Spend Their Money: 2019 Executive Report

This report will give you an inside look at how churches nationwide spend their money.
The 2019 State of Church Compensation Report

The 2019 State of Church Compensation Report

Data and statistics about the state of church compensation in the U.S. for 2019.
Church Compensation

Church Compensation

Learn the many pieces of employee compensation.
Setting a Pastor's Pay

Setting a Pastor's Pay

Richard Hammar explains legal and tax matters for planning a pastor's compensation.

ChurchSalary

ChurchSalary

Let ChurchSalary do the work. Get personalized compensation reports for staff and pastors.