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Compare Apples to Apples

When XPastor hosted the first XP-Seminar in 2004, someone passed around a piece of paper. It was a grassroots effort to get the attendees to share salary information and worship size. Within a few minutes, there were 60 salaries on the front and back of the sheet. With fourteen XP-Seminars and counting, the data increased!

Now we have the “Big Tamale” salary survey. It gives you access to hundreds of churches around the country. In an easy to read format, it lists the major positions in a church–Senior Pastor to Administrative Assistant. Compare salaries from similar sized churches in your region.

All data is posted anonymously. Your church will be grouped by geographic location, such as “south” or “west.” Your confidential information is secure.


The salaries are base salary plus housing, no benefits included. The worship size is the average worship attendance per Sunday in each church.

The surveys are sorted into four sections of the United States–midwest, northeast, south and west. Churches are sorted by the average number of people in weekly worship.


Data is adjusted for inflation as salaries tend to keep up with inflation over a multi-year period. Fletch’s research over two decades has shown that church salaries match inflation over a five year period.

Some salary surveys hide their inflation adjustments. Some only show the “current” salary, which is an inflation adjusted figure. XPastor thinks that you are smarter than that. Church leaders want to see the original date of the data and the inflation adjusted salary. You are smart and can see the numbers change over time, so both original data and inflation adjusted amounts are given.

For example

A church submitted data in 2010 and again in 2018. For the Lead Pastor, the inflation adjusted salary from 2010 was within 0.4% of the 2018 actual salary.


Find churches in your region and of a similar size. Compare their salaries to your church. See the relative salary differences between top management and line management.

This sample is from a church in the west. To preserve anonymity, no other location data is shared. Some portion titles are smoothed out. For example the title, “College Pastor to Northwestern University in Chicago,” would be changed to “College Pastor.”

Your anonymity is important and safeguarded.

1,400 in Worship

2014 Data 2018 Equivalent
Annual Budget $3,400,000 $3,693,488
Payroll Budget $1,420,000 $1,542,574
Benefits Budget $230,000 $249,854
Total Employees—36
Senior Pastor $125,500 $136,333
Executive Pastor $99,000 $107,546
Outreach Pastor $81,500 $88,535
Campus Pastor $72,000 $78,215
Small Groups Pastor $65,000 $70,611
High School Pastor $45,500 $49,428
Jr. High Pastor $40,000 $43,453
Worship Pastor $60,000 $65,179
Audio Director—pt $32,000 $34,762
Children’s Pastor $52,000 $56,489
Business Administrator $53,500 $58,118
Children’s Director $46,500 $50,514
Administrative Assistant $44,300 $48,124
Administrative Assistant $39,000 $42,366
Administrative Assistant $36,600 $39,759
Administrative Assistant $32,000 $34,762
Facilities Director $42,000 $45,625

Senior Leadership

There are two additional sections in the survey. There are 775 Executive Pastor salaries and 200 Senior Pastor salaries. This is in addition to the “all church” data.

Purchase includes use of all data for one-year.


If you submit your data on this Excel Sheet, receive $15 off the Compensation Survey. Put ‘data’ in the promotional code box during check out. This is not a requirement, just an offer!

After you enroll for the Compensation Survey, give us up to 24 hours to give you online access to the information. Tami will send you an email once you have access. Then, after logging into your account, you’ll be able to access each section below for compensation data.