The Pay As You Go Plan
One detail is often overlooked in small Churches. This is regarding the Preacher's salary. Unless he has the boldness or insistance that this matter be annually updated. As moderator of the annual meeting, he may or may not bring the matter up for resolution. Unless it has been placed in some kind of routine, chances are a preacher will not bring up the matter of salary for himself. Therefore many times the Pastor's income is regulated as an afterthought. The average Church member never considers what the Church really does financially for the Pastor. They leave such matters up to the treasurer or some other officer of the Church.
A Godly Pastor truly depends upon God to supply his needs. A fleshly Pastor will put his physical needs, one way or another, constantly before his congregation. The physical needs of a Pastor will have an effect upon his ministry. He may drive a F.O.R.D. (fix or repair daily) or he may drive a late model comfortable car. He may wear sharp tailored suits or Salvation Army bargains. He may walk with the assurance of a kept man or he may walk unassuredly and doubtful of his worth to his own congregation.
In small churches there may be fluctuations in income. There may be fluctuations in expenses. Summer slumps decrease giving. High utility bills increase expenses. The Pastor's paycheck sometimes reflect these fluctuations. If he is the right kind of man, he freely takes the necessary cuts, but it is not the right kind of church to expect him to always be the fall guy.
Someone in the church should have the responsibility of making sure the Pastor is being cared for financially by the church. However the matter should never be left to one person. The best way to keep up with this responsibility, is to make it a regular subject to be brought up at the annual business meeting of the church. Trustees or their equivalent should be expected to investigate the pastor's needs and discuss the church's ability to pay the Pastor a reasonable weekly salary before the meeting. The Pastor should at least be able to define his needs and how best the church can fill those needs. Then they should present their findings at the annual meeting for the church's vote
There are scriptural admonitions and guidelines for paying the preacher. He should never have to beg his church for this consideration. Personal Salary should never have to be brought up from the pulpit. Any man who is in the ministry to make a buck, should look for a job. Having said this I will now present some fact and figures.
Most churches are made up of a variety of incomed people; from business owners to welfare recipients. How can a church determine what to pay the preacher? It is not wise to assess the paycheck based on the weekly offerings..The personal needs are greater when offerings are low. It is not wise to base the salary on the attendance. The preacher will eat corn on the cob on the church rooftop to get a crowd.(tongue in cheek!)
The Pastor, no doubt took the church with a salary package offered. This is a start. There is no, and must never be, a pastor union. So, a pastor's situation should be regularly assessed. He should be paid to a degree a portion (not a percentage) of average church income. Consideration should be given as to the incomes of the average membership. If ten men in the church are driving new cars, then the pastor should be able to drive a new car if he wants to. One thing that must always be considered. A real Pastor is not a 40 hour a week employee, he should be on call 24/7. He should always be ready to give answer to his calling. He should always be prepared to vocalize his calling whether to individuals or to congregations. His responsibility to spread the Gospel is equal to every member of his Church. His duty to that Church is pointman and caretaker. What is the starting salary of a school teacher in your town. Shouldn't that be a starting point for a preacher, at least? There is enough information being published today, that it would be no problem to find out an equitable salary for your preacher.