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The best way to compensate your hard-working pastor in 2020

Pastors may be experiencing the most challenging 9 months of their career right now. As churches navigate COVID-19, our pastors have stepped up and served the front lines as they balance planning for the unknown, comforting their congregation in new ways, and adjusting to new technologies, seemingly overnight, all while maintaining their usual day-to-day tasks (virtually).

As pastors face one of the most uncertain and challenging times the collective church has faced in modern days, there’s been a spike in mental health crises amongst ministry leaders feeling unparalleled burnout from the weight of these burdens. To repay the love and support our pastors have given us through this global crisis, church board members are considering how to compensate them for serving the Kingdom well during this time.

Should We Give Our Pastor a Raise?

Sutton Turner
Courtesy of Sutton Turner

Fortunately for many churches, COVID-19 has not had a significant negative impact on giving. Thanks to the CARES Act Paycheck Protection Program, the shift to online giving, and churchgoers’ desire to give back to their community during this crisis, some churches are experiencing an increase in giving. The stability in giving has created room in many church budgets to reward their overworked pastors, but deciding how to reward your pastor can be difficult.

While it might be easy to give your pastor a raise right now, this may not be the best long-term financial decision. There is still much uncertainty surrounding the virus and economy right now with no way of knowing what 2021 holds. While we would advise you to stay away from giving out raises, we do believe that your pastor should be rewarded financially for all of the extra hard work and hours they are putting in. Offering a bonus to your pastor this year will ensure you are able to honor and reward all the hard work your pastor is doing while also responsibly preparing for the uncertainty of 2021.

How Do We Decide How Much to Give?

So, if you decide to give your pastor a bonus is the way to go, how much should you give? Ultimately, this decision should be based on key performance indicators. While these indicators are going to be unique for every church, here are some things to consider when deciding how much to give:

  1. Has there been an increase in attendance or engagement? (include online presence in addition to physical presence)
  2. Has there been an increase in giving?
  3. How much extra work is your pastor doing now?
  4. How well is your church currently doing?

Other Compensation Considerations

As you close this year out and consider how to reward hard-working staff, you’ll also want to factor in your 2021 budget to the best of your ability. We’d love to walk alongside you as you determine the hires, restructuring, and raises to implement in the coming year.

At Vanderbloemen, we offer custom compensation reports to show you how your church compares to others when it comes to compensating your staff. Our data even factors in cost-of-living for the most accurate and detailed information available to Christian organizations. Find out if your benefits rank competitively and schedule a consultation with our team to create a well-rounded compensation plan that leaves your irreplaceable employees feeling fulfilled and cared for. Let us know how we can serve you with your compensation planning and staffing needs.

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Sutton Turner is the chief operating officer of Vanderbloemen, which serves teams with a greater purpose by aligning their people solutions for growth: hiring, compensation, succession and culture. Through its retained executive search and consulting services, Vanderbloemen serves churches, schools, nonprofits, family offices, and Christian businesses in all parts of the United States and internationally.




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