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New Report Examines Salaries of Megachurch Pastors
Christian Post ^ | 09/04/2012 | By Lillian Kwon

Posted on 09/04/2012 5:42:52 PM PDT by SeekAndFind

Salaries for megachurch pastors have increased over the last two years after a short period of stagnation, a new report reveals.

According to the 2012 Large Church Salary Report by Leadership Network, senior pastor salaries rose about 2 percent per year for the last two years. These pastors were found, for the most part, to be leading growing churches.

The study is the largest-scale project of its kind. Leadership Network has been conducting salary surveys of large churches since 2001.

"We were the pioneers in doing so," said Warren Bird, director of Research and Intellectual Capital Development at Leadership Network, to The Christian Post.

The network began looking into the salaries of megachurch leaders as many of them asked for salary comparisons with peer churches, Bird noted.

While a previous salary report in 2010 provided specific salary figures (the average salary for a lead pastor in a megachurch in the 2010 report was $147,000), researchers chose not to disclose the exact figures in the latest report that was made public. A second version of the report containing specific salary figures were given to survey participants.

"Deciding what to release was a difficult decision," said Bird. "We were mostly guided by trying to give people helpful numbers."

"Media reports tended to pick up the outliers, especially the very highest salary," he added. "Likewise we weren't convinced that looking at the very midpoint (the average) was helpful, so we're following what Chronicle of Philanthropy and others do by giving four percentiles." Leadership Network pointed out that there are a few "extremely high salaries in a handful of very large churches." But the network believes these "off-the-charts compensations" represent only a tiny percentage of the whole.

The 2012 report looked at salary trends for 209 megachurches (the highest number of participants since Leadership Network began the survey) – all of which had a weekend worship attendance of at least 2,000. These surveyed churches are considered "game changer" churches or "pacesetting innovative churches."

Church size was found to be the most influential factor in setting staff salaries. The larger the church, the higher the salary for its leaders. "For each additional 1,000 people in attendance, annual salary increases by roughly $8,000 on average for large church senior pastors," the report stated.

Salaries – or total cash compensation – for senior pastors ranged from over $80,000 to more than $260,000, though most of the salaries for megachurch pastors were in the $100,000 to $200,000 range. Most of the surveyed churches have an attendance of 2,000-4,999 while 44 of them see more than 5,000 attendees each weekend.

Geography was also found to influence salary. Megachurch pastors in the South were the highest paid, followed by pastors in the West and Northeast. The lowest paid geographic region was the Midwest.

The report also revealed that the highest salaries for megachurch leaders were found in an older residential area in the city, followed by an older suburb around the city, a downtown or central area of the city, and a newer suburb around the city, respectively.

In other findings, founding pastors receive $515 more per year than successor pastors; a longer tenure doesn't necessarily mean higher pay; the second highest-paid person in churches (usually the executive pastor) receives 66 percent of the senior pastor's salary; and pastors of multi-site churches do not necessarily get paid more compared to leaders of single site churches. The churches that were surveyed were founded from as early as the 1800s to as late as 2005; are both non-denominational and denominational; and a majority of the churches are predominantly white.

The median age for the senior pastors was 51 and the median tenure is 13 years at their current church. Annual giving at each of these congregations ranged from almost $2 million to over $30 million.

For this report, "salary" included cash paid toward housing and compensation amounts funded by love offerings. It did not include benefits such as hospitalization, book allowance or retirement.

Leadership Network says its survey is not a true random sample and its findings "are not statistically accurate for all larger churches, nor are they longitudinal, m


TOPICS: Charismatic Christian; Current Events; Evangelical Christian; Religion & Culture
KEYWORDS: cathedral; megachurch
For the complete report, click this link
1 posted on 09/04/2012 5:42:59 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

So now it’s going to be war against pastors who make ‘’more than they need’’.


2 posted on 09/04/2012 5:50:16 PM PDT by shadeaud ( “Pray for Obama. Psalm 109:8”. Just doing my duty a Christian)
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To: AngieGal

ping for greed


3 posted on 09/04/2012 5:54:18 PM PDT by PetroniusMaximus
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To: SeekAndFind
salaries rose about 2 percent per year for the last two years

Scandalous!! Are they stashing all that loot in Swiss bank accounts?

4 posted on 09/04/2012 5:56:13 PM PDT by ClearCase_guy (ua)
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To: shadeaud

Jim Baker & Tammy Faye


5 posted on 09/04/2012 5:56:13 PM PDT by notaliberal
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To: SeekAndFind
My high school class' senior class president is now a megachurch pastor (been at it for nearly 20 years) and is loaded. We're friends on FB and he's got the huge house, the huge plot of land, and plenty of recreational toys for him and his family. I don't begrudge him at all. I don't have any problem with people making money for doing a good job. He is a very good preacher and his parishioners apparently have plenty of money to throw at him. Both of my grandfathers were church pastors in the 50s-70s and they were pretty good at their trade, but didn't ever make the bank he does, because it was a different time back then.

My cousin-in-law is an associate or assistant pastor down in Texas and makes about 80K/year. There is a lot of money to be made these days in parts of the country in religion, for sure.

6 posted on 09/04/2012 5:56:46 PM PDT by GraniteStateConservative (...He had committed no crime against America so I did not bring him here...-- Worst.President.Ever.)
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To: shadeaud

It must be embarrassing for these people to do all this work on a supposed hit piece only to find out these pastor’s salaries rose 2% a year. LOL


7 posted on 09/04/2012 5:57:46 PM PDT by plain talk
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To: SeekAndFind
"Megachurch": Because idiots brought up in today's public schools were never exposed to the existing word "Cathedral" in the course of twelve wasted years.
8 posted on 09/04/2012 6:00:15 PM PDT by MrEdd (Heck? Geewhiz Cripes, thats the place where people who don't believe in Gosh think they aint going.)
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To: SeekAndFind

My personal view is that pastors should support themselves. Of course, this means that their churches would be much, much smaller. In fact, I’d be happy with the Biblical model of home churches. If we get another four years of BO, the loss of tax exemption will very likely drive the [C]hurch back to its Biblical roots.


9 posted on 09/04/2012 6:00:36 PM PDT by WorkingClassFilth (I'm for Churchill in 1940!)
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To: SeekAndFind

Chuch as a business.


10 posted on 09/04/2012 6:03:23 PM PDT by Lee N. Field (Never argue eschatology with a crazy person.)
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To: plain talk
It must be embarrassing for these people to do all this work on a supposed hit piece only to find out these pastor’s salaries rose 2% a year. LOL

Who? Leadership Network? Leadership Network would not be composing a hit piece on pastor salaries. Quite the contrary.

11 posted on 09/04/2012 6:07:06 PM PDT by Lee N. Field (Never argue eschatology with a crazy person.)
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To: MrEdd
"Megachurch": Because idiots brought up in today's public schools were never exposed to the existing word "Cathedral" in the course of twelve wasted years.

Cathedral has a specific meaning. Megachurches are just big.

12 posted on 09/04/2012 6:08:54 PM PDT by Lee N. Field (Never argue eschatology with a crazy person.)
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To: SeekAndFind

i pastored small churches for 15 years. always worked full-time while doing so.

didn’t make no difference to me, i wasn’t doing it for me.

however, i am only accountable for myself. what others do is between them and God.

I do not condemn anyone for making lots of money. some of the mega-churches that i know give a lot of help and assistance to the struggling and the poor. food, money, utilities, doctors, what not.

i do not condemn CEO’s of corps, nor do i condemn pastors of mega-churches. that is not my job, and they will not answer to me.

blessings, bobo


13 posted on 09/04/2012 6:15:35 PM PDT by bobo1
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To: Lee N. Field

OK. I did not know who that organization was. Therefore I stand corrected. Usually articles like that ARE hit pieces. It is interesting that they would go to the trouble to publish such a story with such bland results. Perhaps it was to counter misperceptions.

In any event, thanks for the clarification.


14 posted on 09/04/2012 6:27:33 PM PDT by plain talk
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To: WorkingClassFilth

There are only two churches that God approved (out of 7) and both taught the Bible, chapter and verse; God’s word. Smyrna and Philadelphia. (Rev-3)

Those that do not teach God’s word, but their own “interpretations” of God’s word may make lots of money on earth, but they will have difficulty attaining Heaven, as God will judge deceitful/arrogant church “leaders” more harshly than those the leaders pretend to teach.

The “Rapture” theory taught by many TV pastors is one of the most heinous examples of deceit perpetrated by “leaders” in the church on their parishioners, as it sets up even staunch Christians to believe they will be relieved of the duty to fight the anti-christ at his arrival.

But, if they taught God’s truth, people would become scared of the end times and not send money to their “churches”...

If “Rapture” (safety from the anti-christ) is taught, Christians feel safe about their “flight” to heaven before the SHTF and feel more comfortable sending $$$ to the “leader” that gives them hope about avoiding the anti-christ’s reign on earth.

Do wealthy “Rapture teachers” expect the two witnesses to fight the anti-christ alone?


15 posted on 09/04/2012 7:07:50 PM PDT by Mortrey (Impeach President Soros)
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To: notaliberal
Jim Baker & Tammy Faye

The Bakkers resigned from their PTL "ministry" in disgrace way back in 1988. Jim and Tammy Faye were divorced in 1992, and Tammy Faye died in 2007.

16 posted on 09/04/2012 7:07:55 PM PDT by Alex Murphy
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To: Alex Murphy

I know! And they scammed everyone. Remembering their air conditioned dog house.


17 posted on 09/04/2012 7:11:36 PM PDT by notaliberal
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To: SeekAndFind
The 2012 report looked at salary trends for 209 megachurches (the highest number of participants since Leadership Network began the survey) – all of which had a weekend worship attendance of at least 2,000. These surveyed churches are considered "game changer" churches or "pacesetting innovative churches."

Church size was found to be the most influential factor in setting staff salaries. The larger the church, the higher the salary for its leaders. "For each additional 1,000 people in attendance, annual salary increases by roughly $8,000 on average for large church senior pastors," the report stated.

Salaries – or total cash compensation – for senior pastors ranged from over $80,000 to more than $260,000, though most of the salaries for megachurch pastors were in the $100,000 to $200,000 range. Most of the surveyed churches have an attendance of 2,000-4,999 while 44 of them see more than 5,000 attendees each weekend.

For the Scripture says...“The laborer deserves his wages.”
-- 1 Timothy 5:18

18 posted on 09/04/2012 7:11:38 PM PDT by Alex Murphy
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To: Mortrey
You may make a valid point about contributing to the church who has a man in the pulpit who makes you feel safe. BUT. the pre-trib rapture doctrine / theology is all but universaly believed especially in small assemblies with no paid pastors which is where it began in the early 1800's with John Darby. I am in one of these brethren assemblies, we are spiritually alive and joyfull with lots of happy children, we have no paid pastor, in fact no pastors at all but rather we have elders.
19 posted on 09/04/2012 7:28:32 PM PDT by Jonalan
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To: Jonalan

Am I wrong in assuming your church believes in and teaches the Rapture theory?

If not, does your church expect the two witnesses to fight the anti-christ alone?


20 posted on 09/04/2012 7:38:26 PM PDT by Mortrey (Impeach President Soros)
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To: Jonalan

And, with all due respect, I am “spiritually alive and joyful” as well, and I believe God wants warriors to testify against His enemy and ours-the anti-christ. (”anti”, in the Greek, means “instead of”.)

Many will be deceived if they fall for the anti-christ’s theater. Remember, he comes in peace and prosperity, when the “wound” to the “beast” (the NWO) occurs. He will appear Christ-like. No bombs, no war, just deception and he will be the answer to all our problems. Christians shouldn’t fall for this; he will ACT like Christ to deceive.


21 posted on 09/04/2012 7:50:50 PM PDT by Mortrey (Impeach President Soros)
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To: GraniteStateConservative

The thing is that it’s not a trade. There is a balance between a poor friar and Tammy Faye types, the question is what is that balance? It’s difficult to tell and there will always be gossip about how much the pastor makes


22 posted on 09/04/2012 11:51:34 PM PDT by Cronos (**Marriage is about commitment, cohabitation is about convenience.**)
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To: MrEdd
"Megachurch": Because idiots brought up in today's public schools were never exposed to the existing word "Cathedral" in the course of twelve wasted years.

"Megachurch and "cathedral" mean two different things.

"Megachurch" refers to an unusually large congregation.

"Cathedral "originally meant a church that contained the official seat of a bishop. It is often now applied to mean a very large and impressive church building.

A megachurch would still be a megachurch if they had to meet in a warehouse or outdoors.

23 posted on 09/05/2012 12:54:52 AM PDT by wideminded
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To: WorkingClassFilth
My personal view is that pastors should support themselves. Of course, this means that their churches would be much, much smaller. In fact, I’d be happy with the Biblical model of home churches. If we get another four years of BO, the loss of tax exemption will very likely drive the [C]hurch back to its Biblical roots.
There is this to be said for “loss” of the tax exemption - that exemption is the only “justification” for the argument that churches stay out of politics. If you don’t like the politics of a church, you try to go after their tax exemption. If there’s no tax exemption to go after, you are stuck with the fact that the same pastor who has freedom of religion also has freedom of speech and freedom of the press and the right to assemble a group to petition the government.

That doesn’t mean that churches necessarily should do so; like Cathy of Chick-fil-A they just want to have freedom of religion and do their business without dividing people over politics. But of course, “objective” journalists - and the like-minded politicians whom the journalists call “liberal” - politicize religion. And they politicize food. They politicize motherhood, they politicize fatherhood, and they politicize childhood.

They politicize everything. Dividing people is what they do.


24 posted on 09/05/2012 4:11:30 AM PDT by conservatism_IS_compassion (The idea around which “liberalism" coheres is that NOTHING actually matters except PR.)
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To: MrEdd

A Cathedral is specifically a Church where a Bishop presides. By definition this can only be a Church in the Assyrian or Oriental or Orthodox or Catholic or Lutheran or Anglican communion (since these have bishops)


25 posted on 09/26/2012 11:44:06 PM PDT by Cronos (**Marriage is about commitment, cohabitation is about convenience.**)
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