Megachurch Pastors Receiving Larger Salaries, Report Says
Well, if you really want to know more about how pastors are paid and how much these megachurch pastors receive, you could use the information below as a guide. You can also rest assure that we have our tidbits to add to it.
A new report says megachurch pastors’ salaries have increased over the last two years. It also stated the salaries were stagnated for a short period of time.
According to the 2012 Large Church Salary Report by Leadership Network (whose heard of this organization?), senior pastor salaries rose about 2 percent per year for the last two years. These particular pastors were said to be leading growing churches.
The Leadership Network is said to have been conducting salary surveys of large churches since 2001.
For whatever reason, the network began looking into the salaries of megachurch leaders and asked for salary comparisons with peer churches. We do have to say it is an interesting topic especially if the findings open the eyes of the public.
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 have chosen not to disclose any specific figures. So we are not sure why they need to survey them if the public can not know what the figures are in detail. They stated that they felt the numbers would be helpful for people but left out some for survey reasons.
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.
Of course, 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. That’s pretty obvious.
“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.
So, that’s how its determined. Hmm…
Here’s some numbers for you:
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.
It seems as though geographical location played a huge part in influencing salary. Megachurch pastors in the South were reported to be paid the highest, while pastors in the West and Northeast were in the mid range and followed by the lowest paid geographic region was the Midwest.
Here’s some more tidbits for you:
The Large Church Salary Report by Leadership Network has 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.
AT2W’s Tidbits: We think they left out the fact that churches with multi sites will also receive tithes, offerings and love offerings so this makes up a large amount they may have not considered researching.
Also, let’s not forget pastors who are bishops of many other churches or satellite franchise churches. We have heard of many of them receiving either a percentage of offerings per Sunday from each church under the bishop and/or a paid amount when to the bishop per year to start a church under the bishop’s church name which would be the franchise churches. That is a lot to consider as well.
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.
Giving stood out from the report with these congregations ranging from almost $2 million to over $30 million.
The report did fail us by providing facts like “salary” which included cash paid toward housing and compensation amounts funded by love offerings. These findings did not include health care or retirement benefits.
AT2W’s Take: As far as we are concerned, the numbers provided are astronomical and would have dollar signs before their eyes. It all seems like a corporate plan; less about saving souls, and whoever does it bigger and better, gets the dollars. But what about those pastors, especially the really big ones, who always claim they do not take a salary from the church? According to this report, many of the pastors do take a salary and we think everyone knows this. There was really no reason for megachurch pastors to lie and state they do not receive salaries. They bring in too many millions, some of them, for anyone to think it wasn’t like a corporation being run. Let’s get real!!