The salary package shouldn’t be the first thing you talk about. But don’t wait too long.

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T Howard's picture

Be a bi-vocational pastor and it eliminates the discussion (for the most part). If a church isn't willing / able to support their pastor and his family, they need to either allow him the flexibility to work bi-vocationally (and not expect the same level of pastoral care) or cough up the money to support him.

Pastors should not be expected to "live by faith" when their congregation has the means to support them and don't  "live by faith" themselves.

Shaynus's picture

I love me some Matt Hoskinson. My church's thanksgiving offering went to he and his family. His church is going through a difficult time financially. It's the FIRST Baptist Church in the City of New York. Its a very good church in Manhattan. They're worth your prayers and support. 

Don Johnson's picture

The position of pastor is that of overseer (1 Tim 3.1). A prospective pastor shouldn't just ask about his salary but the entire church budget. He needs to understand the whole financial picture of the church and should spend sufficient time going over the books to understand exactly what he is getting into. If he doesn't understand financial matters, he should consult with someone who does. The budget isn't simply the province of the board and the pastor the hireling of the board. The pastor is the overseer. He needs to start his oversight from day one.

Maranatha!
Don Johnson
Jer 33.3

Chip Van Emmerik's picture

Totally agree Don, a fact lost on the majority of Baptist churches (and pastors) today.

Why is it that my voice always seems to be loudest when I am saying the dumbest things?

dcbii's picture

EditorModerator

Don Johnson wrote:

The position of pastor is that of overseer (1 Tim 3.1). A prospective pastor shouldn't just ask about his salary but the entire church budget. He needs to understand the whole financial picture of the church and should spend sufficient time going over the books to understand exactly what he is getting into. If he doesn't understand financial matters, he should consult with someone who does. The budget isn't simply the province of the board and the pastor the hireling of the board. The pastor is the overseer. He needs to start his oversight from day one.

Absolutely true, but this is a two-way street. When our church was doing its most recent pastoral search, we did background and credit checks on every candidate (with their permission, but it was a requirement for being considered) that got past the initial consideration, to see if he was trustworthy. When our preferred candidate came to preach and be considered, during the weekend where we met with him, we opened all the books to him so he could see our finances, and budget, etc., as well as our constitution and bylaws, so he could make a judgement about our stewardship and what he was getting into. Both parties needed all the information in order to make the correct choice. Salary was not discussed until he had already made the decision to actually be considered and candidate in person for the position.

Dave Barnhart

Robert Apps's picture

Interestingly in Australia where I serve there are extremely generous social security payments to families with children.

The net result is that there are many pastors, who particularly with large families, likely receive as much 'support' (if not more) from the federal government as they do from their own churches! 

How ironic that our 'Caesar' is as much a supporter of the Great Commission as are God's people. The downside is over-reliance on the helping hand of 'Big Brother' rather than our Heavenly Father. 

Robert's church website is www.odbc.org.au and his personal website is www.appsministries.org

Don Johnson's picture

Dave adds a good point. The preacher needs to be open and transparent as well.
I should add that insisting on seeing the books does not imply suspicion of  the church or board or anyone. But the preacher just needs to clearly understand what he is getting into. He may very well come in with a substandard salary. That's fine, if he believes The Lord would have him do so. But he does need to know everything about the "state of the church".

many preachers are ill equipped on business matters, especially when starting out. They need to take the time to "borrow brain" if that is the case.

Also, we have experienced the subsidies of a socialist paradise up here in Canada. It is fine while it lasts, but my kids had a condition which rendered the benefit temporary. They grew up!

Maranatha!
Don Johnson
Jer 33.3

Pastork's picture

Don,

I agree with the point you made about pastoral oversight over the church as including the budget and finances. In our church, which has plural elders, we meet with the with the deacons annually to discuss the budget for the coming year, after which we present it to the congregation for a vote. We then trust the deacons to assure that things run accordingly, but we receive monthly reports from the Treasurer to keep us informed and are informed/consulted about any urgent needs that might exceed the budget.

It seems to work pretty well for us. We are not burdened with minutiae, which we entrust to the deacons, but we still maintain oversight.