Sunday, February 26, 2006

Is A Pastors "Performance Based" Salary Coming to a Church Near You?


Recently, a group of Wesleyan pastors and students at Asbury Seminary were discussing the issue of some Wesleyan churches who are considering moving towards a pastor performance based salary. There were a variety of comments made with some seeing the positives in it, while others being disgusted with the whole concept. For instance:

-If a church is in decline, should that be enough to validate a reduction of salary purely because of quantitative numbers?

-Can the pastor lose the prophetic voice because total attendance could decrease if the truth were boldly proclaimed?

-As one rewards countable numbers like baptisms or new members, how would we measure discipleship and assess spiritual growth?

-Would these bonuses also apply to staff pastors (youth, worship, and so forth)?

-Is this way of analyzing and rewarding a pastor biblical, or have we gone to far in allowing the corporate and capitalistic philosophies to enter into our churches?

So…What do you think about churches moving towards a performance based salary (i.e., church grows by 50, $1,000 bonus; church grows by 100, $2,500 bonus)?



Any thoughts, questions, or conerns?

15 comments:

Kevin K. Wright said...

God help us if we every move towards running the church as if it were Enron. In an age where the pastor is already losing her/his prophetic role and voice due to an increasing push to be fulfill a CEO type role, I think this bonus thing would only push us to an unhealthy limit. You also run into the problem of pastors who serve faithfully but have extremely tough assignments (yes, I believe that some assignments are tougher than otheres) and therefore may not have substantial and quick growth. With performance based pay, you've just turned the pastor into a spiritual bounty hunter who brings in the souls to cash in on the reward.

pk said...

I'm forwarding the link for this post to my senior pastor/boss ;-)

nate richardson said...

attendance=compensation
baptisms=bonus
souls=money

scary thoughts that anybody could reduce spiritual and church growth to money.

would this mean if a lay person invited a friend, then they would also be entitled to a bonus as well?

Joe & Randi said...

I'm about #'s because they represent souls....BUT I would never take a position in a church who had decided on the "performance based" salary. My rewards are in heaven, not in my pocket!!

Dave & Lynnette Mason said...

Not that I think the church is a ton better than this right now, but it would be sad to think that Pastors would be driven to save souls for financial gain. In your scenario can the pastors then charge church members when they sin. Say a member is caught cussing and it's like 10 bucks, on a porn site it's like 100 and so on. If they tithe less than 10% we get 11. Anyways whatever

Ryan Schmitz said...

I'm actually in the middle on this. Obviously I don't agree with monetary compensation for strictly numerical growth; however I do think that past performance and solid leadership should be honored within the Church, just as it is within the (gasp) business world.

I am all in favor of relocating or just no longer employing ineffective pastors, and I definitely think dying churches should be closed down and our efforts and resources should be put in more effective areas. I hear about the lack of quality pastors, but maybe the quality pastors are in ineffective churches. Evaluate, liquidate, and consolidate. I probably can never become a DS after this statement.

Jason said...

I like Ryan's comments. While I have ZERO experience as a hired on-staff pastor, I do believe that, like nurses, teachers, etc., pastors are not paid enough. But that's never been the focus right? We do what we do out of love and a passion and a higher calling. While it would be nice to know that their are ways of acknowledging that a certain pastor is doing well, it's extremely difficult to set a standard of just what that compensation would look like. "Performanced-based salary", while sounding like a great way to weed out the pastors who are stuck in neutral, will probably do more harm than good, as some pastors will feel neglected, and mega-church pastors will probably get more attention.

Sniper said...

Anyone know how this idea panned out for the few states that instituted this idea in their Educational systems?

Ask my mom...

It ain't pretty...It has basically ended up like our entire nation. The rich get richer, the poor get poorer

David and Katy said...

There are a lot of problems with compensating a pastor based on the attendence of a worship service or Bible study, but I do think pastors need to be evaluated on a annual basis. I think the majority of lead/seniors are given too much grace when having their performance assessed. Whether is be a board, current staff or D.S...a lead pastor and their staff must be evaluated yearly if only to serve as accountability.

Nate said...

Summers,

I don't agree with giving money for success - but I do feel that when you have a successful year of ministry that the church should reward in a raise to show you that you have done a great job. Ministry is a calling first and a job second - money can't be the reason for you to work hard - it's god be the call that was placed on your life.

Nate

Tim said...

Yo, sorry I hadn't read the comments of that one blog...its nightlightfilms also at blogspot, I have another linked off of that one. Glory days were good times that I miss.

tim

Pastor Rod said...

I think there is an even bigger issue here: How do we define success? I've made a few comments about this at http://pastorrod.blogspot.com/2006/02/how-do-we-define-success.html.

Rod

Jenn Swift said...

I don't know that we'd call it that now, but I wouldn't say we're NOT there currently... at least in places I'm relatively familiar with (don't take that as a direct reflection of where I'm at right now). It's being thought of because it's kind of happening. I think that people are making a mental connection that this might be somewhere to go because it's visible now in practice though maybe not in name.

William@Scotland said...

Hi all,

this is a bit of an aside. However,it is a related issue and I would value your views.

I'm having discussions with a small church at the moment with a view to taking up a full time pastorate with them. The church is concerned about the size of the pot of money it has, and its anticipated income stream (assuming numbers were to remainis as they are). `It could run out in about three years', is the comment. The suggestion that is being made is that they offer any incoming pastor a fixed term contract for three years, to be reviewed at the end of that period. My view is that this church certainly needs the help of a pastor since there is an issue of faith and committment. I am keen to serve. However, I feel that this church are undervaluing ministry in this fixed term contract idea and I'm disinclined to let them away with it. Thoughts.........

William@Scotland said...

Hi all,

this is a bit of an aside. However,it is a related issue and I would value your views.

I'm having discussions with a small church at the moment with a view to taking up a full time pastorate with them. The church is concerned about the size of the pot of money it has, and its anticipated income stream (assuming numbers were to remainis as they are). `It could run out in about three years', is the comment. The suggestion that is being made is that they offer any incoming pastor a fixed term contract for three years, to be reviewed at the end of that period. My view is that this church certainly needs the help of a pastor since there is an issue of faith and committment. I am keen to serve. However, I feel that this church are undervaluing ministry in this fixed term contract idea and I'm disinclined to let them away with it. Thoughts.........