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Pastor Designates His Salary

Our church has given the pastor complete authority to designate his own salary and benefits. The salary is not disclosed to the congregation. Is this a normal practice in a 3,000-5,000 member congregation? I am hearing of other churches of the same denomination have the same policies.

Moderator - That would not be normal or appropriate.

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I think a pastor should be placed on a salary and someone else should be in charge of the money. Perhaps the deacons,treasurer or a committee in charge. I don't know where the pastors and other leaders got all of this power, to begin with. The congregants( members) are who really run the church.We give pastors and other leaders unnecessary power over our lives and pocketbooks. When we are taught and learn better, we can do better.
---Robyn on 5/13/11

In our church, the elders and deacons have meetings with the committee of admin. of the church and they look at the needs and then come up with a budget for the pastor's family. If there comes a time where they need more money for something necessary (expecting another child, child who needs money for medical issues, etc.), they go over the budget and see if there are ways they can cut out or they increase the stipend. Our church also has a treasurer and is always ready for an audit. EVERYTHING is out in the open and the whole church knows how much they make because we all contribute to their stipend. Accountability creates trust.
---Rosa on 3/19/11

is it biblical for pastors to designate their own salary when pastors always say 'go to the bible'. where does it say in the bible that a pastor should be paid in order to afford a house & a luxury car? isn't it hypocritical for them to say that self is a sin but they will designate their own salary. what is enraging is they think that life is easy & simple & quoting a verse will solve the problems facing christians. the reason for this is because they do not deal with the realities of life like job loss, job interview, customer service & they have a tithe mentality.
'give your 10% & praise the lord, I am at peace, worry is a sin.'
---mike on 5/14/09

Where is the governing board? Elders? Deacons? They should agree upon the pastor's salary, not the pastor. Somethin' ain't right there!
---Vicki on 5/14/09

**do you know most pastors make about minium wage and those who make more good for them its nice to be able to feed you family. I will bet if you ask you pastor instead of gossip about him you may be suprised how little he really makes for a 24-7 job.

Sorry if I got a little forceful but I know so many pastors that live below the poverty level because of stingy and cold hearted churches.**

I know exactly what you mean. I've seen it too many times, myself.
---katavasia on 4/9/09

I have a question

why do you care?

do you know most pastors make about minium wage and those who make more good for them its nice to be able to feed you family. I will bet if you ask you pastor instead of gossip about him you may be suprised how little he really makes for a 24-7 job.

Sorry if I got a little forceful but I know so many pastors that live below the poverty level because of stingy and cold hearted churches.
---willow on 4/9/09

is this pastor after money or is he really preaching the gospel?**

One congregation prayed, "Lord, send us a pastor, poor and humble.

"You keep him humble, and we'll keep him poor."
---katavasia on 4/8/09

to wivv
if you obey the word of god then
what verse in the bible say the board members will set the salary of a pastor? does it say in the bible the salary of a pastor should be $7800/month? is that where all the money goes to enrich a pastor?

the bible say 'deny' the SELF, be contented & do not store treasures on earth! obviously you are hypocrites!
---mike on 4/8/09

No way is this normal! Most pastors I know, and I know quite a number from various denomiations, of various sizes of congrations and the pastors have their salary established by a board, and voted on by the congragation. They also set the benefits. It reads like you have a 'controlling pastor' who thinks he is superior to his congration and really doesn't trust his his congregation.
---wivv on 4/8/09

obviously this pastor is practicing the golden rule:

HE who has the gold makes the rules!

... and that is biblical
---mike on 4/8/09

This appears to be wrong 1Thessalonians 5:22, is subject to abuse Luke 16:11, and says to other ministers that it's an acceptable action 1Corinthians 8:9.

Sadly, many large congregations are not forthright on their practices. Two responses to financial questions are often: what business is it of yours, and it is proprietary information. If your congregation insists on open disclosure, they would probably comply, or risk a cut in offerings.

Most U.S.Congregations are 501-c corporations, which allows you to petition the I.R.S. for a copy of its' tax returns. This might help you to see the amount given over to salaries, but wouldn't show his income from other sources.


John 8:12, Ephesians 5:8
---Glenn on 4/7/09

I remember one televangelist in san jose named rick bernal. he said 'I chose to be rich!'
how can a pastor televangelist get rich when he does not have a job unless the preaching of the gospel has become a profit making business.
---mike on 4/7/09

is this pastor after money or is he really preaching the gospel?

christianpost wrote that only 1% leave the church because of salary reasons.
---mike on 4/7/09

pastors are quick to quote verses in the bible. they will attack you of 'non-biblcal' decisions. show me in the bible this kind of arrangement of the pastor's salary. what hypocrisy when they would be quick to say of 'that is not biblica' when they will make their own decisions especially when in comes to $$$$$$!
if that is the case, you are scammed into making sacrifices for your family so your hypocritical pastor gets rich.
---mike on 4/6/09

If this is the decision that the church has made, then it is really none of our business. Although it is not a "normal" practice, it is their practice. Now, if you meant that the board of your church made this decision, then I would ask them about it. If the members of the church did not have the opportunity to vote on this matter, I think it would be appropriate to ask for that vote to be made. Most established denominations have bylaws that would forbid the pastor naming his own price. Many denominations give the pastor a set percentage of the tithes and, in some cases, all the tithes.
---SusieB on 3/27/09

3. Still not all the pastors, or let us say ministers are full-time careerpastors, majority is doing the work free of charge. also in our denomination one is not nessecarely pastor to serve the church the elders are as well concidered as fully capable ministers, and rather we concider a pastor rather as a supervisor over the elders, yet the elders guardiens over the pastor as well. again, this is our denomination, and may be strange to other churches. as long as the gospel is effectively preached, then one must accept a full responsibility anbd acknowledge God in that structure also.(since God did not really occupy him with these details.
---Andy on 3/26/09

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No this is not normal. If the Pastor was a good Pastor at all, he would not designate his own salary or benefits? What if it is more than the church can give? Plus the congregation should not allow this. I am so glad I don't go to a church with that many members. How could you get to know all of them personally? You couldn't. If someone died that belonged to the congregation, and it is told in the church, most people will wonder who it was and didn't know if they really came to church there or not. I'll stick with my 30-40 members, at least I know all of them personally including the Pastor and his family.
---Rebecca_D on 3/26/09

Hold on a minite, who are we to judge, if this is a standard policie accepted by the denomination, then by all means do not critisize it, uless you want the congregation to understand it is a little to free. Nevertheless i also do not think it would be good. as example, in some denominations, i know the pastor ghets the full tithes. which makes that one pastor from the same denomination, could ghet 100.000 dollars a month, whilst another ghets only 100 dollars a month.
---Andy on 3/26/09

In the Church of England, pastor salaries are standard and not subject to individual negotiation.

If I was in a church where the pastor tried to set his own remuneration, I would be off like a shot!
---alan8566_of_UK on 3/25/09

I think this practice has grave potential to be a snare for pastors & their congregations. (1 Tim. 6:6-10) The Bible norm is 1 Tim 5:17. Pastors/Elders who rule well are to receive double honour (monetary & otherwise compensations ) from church bodies under their watchful care. Key here is pastors/elders "receiving", not inappropriately determining what he thinks he's due.

Pastors who meet the Bible mandated needs of their congregations get their needs met through the church cheerfully giving & overflowing outpouring of love. (Luke 6:38)
---Leon on 3/25/09

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You obviously don't have all the details. If your church has made this decision then it has looked at all the details and feel this is correct. I'm sure there is a limitation as to how much he is allowed. The board of directors will still have to okay it. They have to draw up a budget. You can find out how much wages is going out of your church because it will be a charitable organization listed online. The entire financial statement will be there for everyone to see.
---john on 3/25/09

I know one Orthodox diocese where the Bishop is the one to negotiate the pastor's salary.
---katavasia on 3/25/09

I have never heard of any pastor naming his own salary. Organized churches have a board of members who select pastors and also set their salaries. I did know one pastor who said God told him to take the first offering each month for him and his family. Later on God told him to go back on salary. The church eventually was dissolved. Pastors who set their own salaries are generally those who pastor non-denominational churches with smaller congregations. These pastors usually have full time jobs or they are retired. Some pastors preach from one church to another and receive a free will offering for their services.
---Bob on 3/24/09

Moderator is correct. However this situation inside of our churches today is much more prevalent than is commonly known.
---mima on 3/24/09

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Okay, Here is what I think. If the church likes it, fine. Who's going to argue? BUT, the preacher had better not try and rob its people. God's people.
---catherine on 3/24/09

What denomination is this and where can I apply for open pastor positions?
---ralph7477 on 3/24/09

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