Study: pastoral compensation keeping pace with inflation

“Adjusting for church size (see Methodology), the average full-time Southern Baptist senior pastor’s compensation (salary and housing) rose 0.78 percent between 2008 and 2010. That rate of change was only slightly higher than the compounded 0.67 percent inflation rate for the same two-year period” CP

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Joel Tetreau's picture

Way to go SBC! Grateful you're giving your guys a 0.11% raise beyond inflation.....bravo!

In all seriousness - these are tough days for many churches. There are some practical ways a church can help their pastors during years the budget can't handle a pastoral raise. Most pastors in tough times are happy just to keep the salary where it is.

Straight Ahead!


Dr. Joel Tetreau serves as Senior Pastor, Southeast Valley Bible Church (; Regional Coordinator for IBL West (, Board Member & friend for several different ministries;

Jonathan Charles's picture

Two of the men on our church's board are retired and on Social Security so they know from year-to-year what the Social Security cost of living adjustment is. They try to keep my salary increase in line with whatever the cost-of-living increase is for Social Security. The thing that perplexes me is that the SS COLA has been about 3% a year (except for last year) but the SBC article records inflation at a much lower rate. I'm not complaining, but wondering why there is a discrepancy at all. I assumed both would be about the same.

Aaron Blumer's picture


I think inflation is calculated across the board whereas cost of loving focuses on certain key things. So, for example, the price of new mansions and yachts is probably not averaged in with cost of living calculations.
(I suspect it's weighted heavily toward food, clothing, utilities, transportation, housing)