I stumbled upon this website which had some compiled data / comparisons of the average salary of a job position in an area. I was reminded that my corner of the world doesn’t do to well at taking care of their ministers.
I chose in this captured instance to look at the average salary of a ‘Director of Youth Ministries’ in part because my United Methodist tribe seems to like that title over Youth Pastor or Minister. My best guess on that reasoning is that we have a lengthy ordination process and some might see the ‘pastor’ title as not quite earned by some youth leader. A ‘youth worker’ made significantly less than either a Youth Pastor or Director of Youth Ministries. Not sure why that would be except maybe it averages in some other non-profits.
I was payed pretty well as I considered it at my last church position. Sobering thought however was that many of our pest control employees made more than me for work that had less responsibility. What might be even more sad, I know some of our ordained clergy (and to be ordained you’ve gone through at least masters level divinity education) made less than I did.
Where these wandering thoughts had me going was, how do we provide for our leaders ‘daily bread?’ Now, I am well aware that making more than a dollar a day is richer than some 80% of the worlds population. But in the United States of America those can be some really struggling numbers to make housing, transportation, food/health, debt (M.Div is the worst investment from financial perspective ever), etc. It is probably a shallow reasoning to, but depending on the church you serve you have to ‘keep up with the Jones’s.’ It’s true, if you work in a affluent church, chances are you’d feel some pressures to dress to that culture. Sure it is shallow consumerism, but just because it is that doesn’t mean that it is very real.
So 1) this was kind of a fun site to play around with, so have fun there. 2) and most importantly, can we look at how we as a church are taking care of our people who we claim responsibility for as an employer and ask if it is really something they can provide their daily bread with. Even if the answer is ‘no’ and ‘we cannot do anything more’ at least it helps to acknowledge the value of a person until a church can.