The issue of staff compensation is one that comes up in every coaching network I lead. There’s no doubt it’s a complex issue and there’s no one size fits all answer.
Having said that, there’s 3 questions that should drive all staff compensation discussions:
1. What do you do?
2. How well do you do it?
3. What would it cost to replace you?
As far as I’m concerned, these are the most important compensation questions. One of my philosophies is that not every job is a career. While a custodian is an important job for any church with a building, it’s hard to feed a family of 5 on that salary. Why? Because that job was never meant to be a career.
That’s why assessing the position is so important. Then looking at their performance and then their value to the organization makes sense.
I believe we need to do the most with each dollar that’s entrusted to us. And with staffing being the line item that takes up the most dollars, we need to make sure we have the best staff possible.
Some pastors have asked:
“What about longevity in the organization? How important is that is determining compensation?”
I believe longevity has great value, but what’s of more value is the skills and leadership each individual brings to the table.
But here’s what’s most important about staff when it comes to compensation: are they growing with the organization? Because some staff can help a church get to a certain level effectively, but without continued learning and growth the organization grows beyond their ability to lead or make an impact.
So I’m always looking to see how staff are growing are developing themselves.
Of course, as the Senior Pastor I need to be creating opportunities for staff to grow, but they have to take those opportunities are develop as a result of them.
The bottom line is this: some people haven’t been on staff at a church for 5 years. They’ve been on staff at a church 1 year five times. They’ve repeated the same level of leadership and never grown beyond that.
Before you consider compensation, you’ve got to hire the best possible people.
To help you with that get a copy of my free Church Staffing Guide: