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Are Pastors Overpaid?

Are pastors overpaid? The question is self-explanatory, isn’t it?  So let’s jump right into it. 

Though I have been on two church staffs, I am not a pastor.  When I attend church, I serve merely as a volunteer and board member.  Therefore, I have no personal agenda.  I simply have observations that I feel very strongly about.

My thoughts are this – You can’t pay pastors enough!

I love pastors for the following reasons:

  1. Pastors are the point people for telling me what God thinks about the issues of my life. 
  2. They provide me spiritual food each week. 
  3. They pray for me when I need it and even when I don’t. 
  4. They preside over the landmark issues of my life such as baby dedications, weddings, and funerals. 
  5. They comfort me during times of crisis and uncertainty. 
  6. They daily fight spiritual battles I know nothing about.
  7. They encourage me.
  8. They shepherd my soul.
  9. They are my friend.

I will never suggest that our Lead/Senior Pastor take a pay cut.  Never.

Several times, I have gone to battle with members of Finance and Stewardship Committees over the issues of staff raises and compensation packages.  Sadly, many times they have masked their own selfishness, greed, agendas, and disappointments in a veil of “protecting the church” and “good stewardship.”  Sometimes, I’ve won.  Other times, I did not. 

We have all seen gross misbehavior in the area of greed by some well-known Christian leaders.  I’m not talking about those cases.  I’m talking about the average pastor in an average church.

As a church leader, I want my pastors to be “very comfortable financially” in relation to the people they serve.  The objective of a comfortable lifestyle is the following: