51% of pastors got a raise last year. Did you?

A recent national survey of pastors and church staff shows that the majority of senior pastor respondents (51%) received salary increases “in the past year.” This is an increase of 11 percentage points compared to the previous study.

Senior pastor average salaries are the highest they’ve been since Christianity Today started tracking compensation data. This year, average pay slightly surpasses rates earned in 2006, the next highest paid year.

This survey, conducted and compiled by Christianity Today and reported on in the 2014-2015 Compensation Handbook for Church Staff, is based on survey data from more than 3,500 churches, representing over 7,500 staff members. Staff members in 14 different positions, ranging from senior pastors to church secretaries, reported on their total compensation package, including details such as salary, housing allowance/parsonage, retirement, life insurance, health insurance, disability insurance, and continuing education allowances.

The survey also unveiled other significant details about senior pastors that include:

  • Full-time male Senior Pastors receive 40% more in compensation plus benefits than female Senior Pastors.
  • Nearly 9 in 10 Senior Pastors receive a housing allowance, but only a slim percentage, a little more than 1 in 10, live in church-provided parsonages.
  • Compared to the previous two surveys (2011 and 2009), the percentage of those who have graduate degrees dropped 4 percentage points, from 72% to 68%.

The comprehensive results and analysis for this year’s survey are featured in the 2014-2015 Compensation Handbook for Church Staff. The complete analysis includes breakdowns based on church denomination, income budget, size, and geographical setting. To order your copy, visit www.YourChurchResources.comor call 800-222-1840.

But I just don’t get it.

The best opportunity you’ve got to grow and to make an impact is to seek out the, “I don’t get it,” moments, and then work at it and noodle on it and discuss it until you do get it. Analogies and metaphors are your friends. Dense lyrics, almost indecipherable prose, mysterious successes–these are the places where you will leap forward.

Seth Godin

Knock it off, John MacArthur

Well… that’s the message from Michael Brown (who writes for Charisma Magazine) to John MacArthur.

It seems that MacArthur is holding a “Strange Fire” conference right now in Southern California to help pastors ‘evaluate the claims of those in the charismatic movement’ and help those in attendance immerse themselves ‘in the Word of God and sweet fellowship of like-minded believers’.

But it appears that charismatics are not what MacArthur would consider ‘like-minded believers’.

In fact, a response to Michael Brown’s original article asking MacArthur to reconsider the conference was quite pointed in a blog post on MacArthur’s site entitled “Leveling Charges Against John MacArthur”.

(Never mind the fact that MacArthur is doing a conference leveling charges against a whole host of his fellow believers).

Fred Butler writes: I believe Brown is wildly off-target with his critical remarks against John MacArthur.  In fact, I am deeply troubled by such a profound lack of discernment–though Dr. Brown has written so thoughtfully on important aspects of apologetics, he dismisses the serious theological errors prevalent within the charismatic movement as mere “excesses.”


Wouldn’t the world be a better place if everyone just fell in line with MacArthur?

For one thing, there would be no more flat screen screen preachers.

Oh wait.

For reals, isn’t it possible to disagree with someone on a theological matter without casting them to the wolves?

Do we really need a conference to gather church leaders AGAINST a certain theology or viewpoint or movement?

Let me go on the record.  I DO believe that someone is ‘wildly off-target’ here.  And you don’t even need an interpreter to figure out who that might be.

But don’t worry.  I’m not planning a conference.

In fact, I agree with John MacArthur on much more than I disagree with.

So I’m praying for John today, and for the attendees of the Strange Fire conference… that they will have discernment, and that they won’t leave as a more powered up anti-anything crowd.

(We already have enough of that to go around).


Pastor confesses his wife’s adultery and mental illness to church

Huh.  What do you think of this excerpt?

This past Sunday, Pastor Carpenter told the Redemption World Outreach Center that his wife, Hope Hilley Carpenter, had committed adultery many times during the past ten years of their twenty year marriage.

He also told the Greenville, S.C. church that Hope voluntarily checked herself into a one-year rehab clinic where she is in isolation for evaluation. Pastor Carpenter also informed his congregation that a therapist said his wife “was the worst case they had ever seen.”

“There is a sickness, there is a whole other dual life that I am finding out that has been created,” said Pastor Carpenter. “Hope is not well. You need to know that. We don’t know what’s wrong, but these are not the actions of anybody that is right.”

Pastor Carpenter, who has three children with his wife, added, “She does not need wrath [or] anger. She needs prayer, she needs support and she needs miracles.”

Apparently, this went over well with most of the 13,000 church members, who have been showering Pastor Carpenter with prayers, flowers and cards.

Read more here…

What do you think?  Handled properly?

If you were pastor, would you continue to actively pastor your church?  Would you step down?  Would you take some time away?

I’d love to hear your thoughts.


What every church leader should know about sexting

Yes… it’s important.

Because it’s happening in your church.

And probably not just with teenagers.

First, a definition:  Sexting is using mobile technology to send a suggestive, nude or semi-nude text, picture or video of oneself to someone else.

Why do you need to know about this?

Well… because according to a recent study, about 48% of teens have received a sexually suggestive message.  And about 39% have sent one.

I’m not sure what the stats are for adults, but I bet they’re probably not that much different in your community, at least in some circles.

Here are some helpful hints. (Found at Youthministrymedia.ca)


10 Indispensible Practices of The 2-Minute Leader

For those of you who don’t know Brian Dodd… Brian loves the local church, and serves the church through his work at The Rocket Company and his blog, Brian Dodd on Leadership. I am really excited about Brian’s newest project, 10 Indispensible Practices of The 2-Minute Leader.

In today’s Ministry Briefing Conversation Matt and I sit down with Brian to hear more about his new book, and the practices that he thinks are most important for church leaders to incorporate in their day to day activities.

Click below to watch the conversation:



What churches can learn from nuclear subs

Ok, so a nuclear submarine and a church don’t seem to have a whole awful lot in common… at first.

Take a closer look, and you will find two complex organizations loaded with similar leadership challenges. While the mission of the local church is not to go around sinking enemy vessels (in case you were wondering), the need for church leadership to develop and maintain a healthy organizational culture focused on expanding God’s Kingdom is remarkably similar to the duties of a submarine’s senior officers as they set out on their mission to defend our country.

Today we feature a special interview with David Marquet, a retired captain in the United States Navy, and the author of Turn the Ship Around! The way David went around totally redefining the culture of the USS Sante Fe is an excellent blueprint for pastors engaging in church revitalization work.

Today, I am excited to share a conversation between David, Matt Steen, and me. Over the course of fifteen minutes, we share a little bit about the story of the Santa Fe, how David’s view of leadership changed over the course of his career, and what a pastor needs to know when entering a church context that is in need of revitalization.

Click below to watch the video, and let me know what you think:



Forgiveness is cheaper than therapy

This week’s Ministry Briefing Conversation is with Mykey Robinson, the author of Cheaper Than Therapy: How To Forgive and Overcome Anger, Anxiety, Fear and Stress. Mykey has spent years on church staff, working as a counselor, and serving in hospice settings, and through it all has learned a good bit about forgiveness, and how important it truly is.

This conversation will be helpful for church leaders in two ways:

  • Mykey shares some great insight on helping people to forgive… something every pastor does on a regular basis. 
  • Getting beat up is a regular occurrence in the life of a pastor. Many of us need to be reminded about how to forgive.

Click the link below to watch the video, and let us know what you think:

Mykey Robinson


One way to evaluate the financial integrity of your church

Are you ready for this?  One word.  Audit.

When was the last time your church did an external audit?

True, it’s expensive.

But it’s necessary.

It’s the one way to be absolutely, independently sure that your church has the highest form of financial integrity and accountability.

When was the last time your church did an audit?

Here’s more information…

10 signs your pastor is a zombie

I think I may have met a few of these in my day…

zombieHT: NakedPastor



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