“Hey Fletch” on HR

From around the globe, people tune in on Fletch’s warm and sound advice. He’s a friend and “church doctor,” bringing an objective perspective, broad knowledge and vast experience. Your question will get a personal reply from Fletch.

Template for Job Descriptions

Monday, August 13, 2018

Hey Fletch … Do you have a resource or a template for writing job descriptions?

DRF—In churches there are three types of job descriptions. They can all look fairly similar, but need to contain specific data points.

For non-exempt staff, the job description must align with the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). These employees must document their time, take rest and meal breaks, etc. The job description doesn’t need to show the FLSA […]

Pastor Buying a House in an Expensive Location

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Hey Fletch … I’m really looking forward to the Smart Money for Church Salaries workshop! Perhaps you’ll cover this there, but can you share insight into how churches in affluent areas are handling housing costs, especially for new staff members who move into the area? Here in our region, the median home price is $1,000,000. This has made it especially difficult to hire folks who are new to this crazy real […]

Staff Evaluations

Monday, August 6, 2018

Hey Fletch …    I am a new XP to the church I serve and staff evaluations are coming up. My previous experiences at churches are either too formal (a graded scale, points assigned to tasks, overly specific goals) or too relaxed (“so, how did the last year go, Bob?”). Do you have a template or resource to help me frame staff evals this fall?

DRF—It has been a busy season and […]

Health Cost-Sharing Ministries

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Hey Fletch … I have a question about rising medical costs for employers. There are several Christian-based health cost-sharing ministries, such as MediShare, Christian Healthcare Ministries, and Samaritan Ministries. On the surface they do not qualify as a group plan to meet the requirements of the ACA for employers with 50+ employees. At least one is communicating that they do in a certain environment. What are your thoughts on this?

PS Our HR […]

Who Owns a Book that the Pastor Writes?

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Hey Fletch … I have a quick question that may require a long answer. If a pastor is writing books, who gets the royalties and why? I’m confident that this question has varying answers depending on terms and conditions. I welcome all answers to all possibilities, if you have enough time.

DRF—The general understanding of “work for hire” laws are if a pastor writes a book on church time, on church computers and […]

Compensation Survey

Friday, July 27, 2018

Hey Fletch … How do I receive the Compensation Survey?  Mail or email?

DRF—The XPastor Compensation Survey is online. You can enroll and get all the data online. If you submit your data, receive $15 off the price. This is not a requirement, just an offer!

While it is smaller than other national surveys, it is the least expensive! 

XPastor’s “Big Tamale” salary survey gives you access to hundreds of churches around the […]

Thanks for the Employee Handbook 

Monday, July 23, 2018

Hey Fletch … I wanted to reach out and say thanks for the employee handbook that I found on XPastor. This is exactly what I needed! I am helping our pastors develop an employee handbook so we appreciate you sharing this!

DRF—Thanks for letting me know. The employee handbook on that page is one of many that people in the XPastor community have submitted. There are many more staff policies on […]

Pastor Told to Retire at Age 65

Friday, July 20, 2018

Hey Fletch … I just got out of a meeting with my XP. He told me that the church has a policy that pastors have to retire at age 65. I don’t get it. I’m effective in my role, love it and have a good five to ten years of ministry left in me. What should I do?

DRF—Ouch. I’m so sorry to hear this. I strongly disagree with such a policy. You […]

Giving a Pastor a Sign-on Bonus?

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Hey Fletch … We are paying a pastor a sign-on bonus that has filed their 4361 and at the same time has a W4 with the church. What is the church’s responsibility when it comes to withholding taxes on the bonus? Does the church withhold zero taxes on the bonus since he is licensed and has filed 4361? Does the church withhold taxes per the W4 that the clergy has with the church ?

DRF—I’m […]

Are Employment Applications Necessary for Churches?

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Hey Fletch! We are a small but growing church that typically hires from within our own membership. We are considering adding an employment application but don’t know where to begin. Can you recommend a good resource for what kind of questions to ask (and what is too personal?) As we’ve experienced growth and haven’t had as long to get to know prospective applicants, we’ve been surprised by a few situations that seem […]

My Boss Wants Me Out

Monday, July 9, 2018

Hey Fletch … My boss wants me out. She came into my office last week and essentially said “You are done here.” What should I do?

DRF—Often there is a substantial backstory that builds up to that climactic statement. Sometimes it comes out of thin air. Either way, your relationship with your boss is severely damaged, probably beyond repair.

As you think through the last few months, consider what you have done to be […]

Thinking about Applying for an XP Position

Friday, July 6, 2018

Hey Fletch … I was thinking about applying for the open XP role at our church. Then I found out the church quickly and quietly hired an insider. Is this typical?

DRF—I’m sorry that you didn’t get the change to apply for the position and possibly get an interview. If a church posts an open position, they should allow three to five weeks for people to apply. Otherwise, it makes people wonder, “Why […]

Time Cards for Pastors

Friday, June 29, 2018

Hey Fletch … Are my people working hard enough? Should we use time-cards for pastors?

DRF—This is similar to yesterday’s question about administrative assistants. People work incredibly hard when they have a compelling vision. When people speak into the tactics of implementing that vision, they work even harder.

I am not a fan of having time cards for pastors. Pastors are exempt from FLSA regulations, so time cards are not required. Some churches use […]

Worship Leader Resume and Reel

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Hey Fletch … I’m beginning to write the script for my worship reel. What do you think are the most important things to hit on in that video. What subjects do churches and employers need/want to hear me share about?

DRF—A resume for a worship leader should include “your reel.” That is a collection of videos that show you in action. I would suggest that you include three things:

  1. Tell the top two […]

Part-Time Pastor Ready to Burn Out

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Hey Fletch … I’m a church planter. We have a part-time pastor on our staff. Her husband makes a good living and we would love to pay her more. However, as a starter church, our budget is so, so tight. I can’t bring her to full-time status. She is already putting in more hours than we are paying her for and I fear that she may burn out. Thoughts?

DRF—The good news for […]

Compensation Survey Data

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Hey Fletch … I noticed that some of the data in XPastor’s Compensation Survey seems dated. I’m sure if you made a plea to all the XP viewers they would be happy to update a Salary Survey Spreadsheet for you. It’s always hard for us operating in the northeast to find good comps.

DRF—I liked your feedback and it is helping to improve the page. Here is what the page now says:

Data is […]

Worship Pastor Salaries

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Hey Fletch … Do you have any data on salaries for worship pastors or music directors? I’m interested in both full and part time.

DRF—There are a number of sources for salary data: Leadership Network, MinistryPay and Christianity Today have the largest databases. 

While XPastor’s Salary Survey may not be the largest, it is unique. For $49 it is cheap. It has $200 million in salaries and hundreds of churches. What makes […]

Can I Use the Online Employee Handbooks?

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Hey Fletch … Is it ok if I use the employee handbooks on XPastor to create my own? I didn’t see anything that states they are copyright protected, but wanted to make sure. I really enjoy your site and it has been very helpful to me as a Church Administrator!

DRF—XPastor tries to help churches by providing many of the essentials for running a church. These are items like job descriptions, employment applications, […]

Scaling Wages As the Church Grows

Monday, March 5, 2018

Hey Fletch … I’m in a small church with a few part-time paid staff. We are hoping to grow them into full-time positions over the next 2 years, plus expand the staff. What is the best way to structure a pay scale that a church can grow into on the front end to avoid mis-compensated staff on the back end? How should be pay executive leadership, department heads, department staff, part-time and […]

Validating Information About Staffing

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Hey Doc … I’m in XPastor’s class on Staffing. The class is going well! Most is fairly straightforward and there are nuggets of insight that I am able to pull from each lesson. This is validating the information that I have needed to pass to the Board over the past two years. It’s nice to see alignment with what I’ve been stating to them.

DRF—That’s part of a great education. It affirms […]

Evaluating Senior Pastor Salaries

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Hey Fletch … I’m using the XPastor Compensation Survey. We are beginning the process of hiring a Senior Pastor and the Board is wanting to evaluate all salaries. We have some work to do to come up with ranges relevant to our church and area, our location is so very expensive to move into.

DRF—The realtors say it best, “location, location, location.” You are in an expensive area for housing. So, your […]

Expediting an Unpaid to Paid Staff Role

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Hey David … I will become an Assistant Pastor within three months. Initially, this will be an unpaid position. It will become paid once the church can afford me. How do I expedite that process? Help is appreciated.

DRF—The first thing that comes to mind is to launch a culture of generosity. Help the church by telling stories of ministry. I recently was at a church with enormous reach in their city. All they […]

HR Policy and Best Practices

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Hey Doc … Our church isn’t of a size to yet need an HR person on staff. Yet, I need help on HR policy and best practices. Our state has lots of laws and I don’t want to run afoul of them.

DRF—Contact your church insurance company. Many have ample resources to help you stay clear of personnel problems. I’m amazed at how much information a good agent can give you at no […]

Defining Church Interns

February 10, 2018

Hey David … Do you have anything on internships. What to expect out of an intern and expectations of me as the Student Pastor?

DRF—We don’t have much in the way of job descriptions. I don’t know why, as over the years we have had so many paid and non-paid interns. The best practice is, if you use the term “intern” then make it a learning internship. If the situation is really “unpaid labor” […]

Am I Underpaid?

January 29, 2018

Hey Fletch … I’m trying to get a handle on my compensation. Is it fair? Am I underpaid? Please give some advice on comparable salaries for my role.

DRF—There are some great online tools that you can use. Christianity Today’s Salary Survey, MinistryPay and Leadership Network (for large churches).

XPastor has a Compensation Survey. I’m right in the middle of indexing the numbers for 2018 inflation. Most folks have found our numbers […]

Salaries in the Pacific Northwest

January 22, 2018

Hey Prof … This is a hard question. Can you give me some guidance on what kind of salary I might expect as a Senior Pastor of a church in the Pacific Northwest? It has about 1,000 in worship.

DRF—XPastor’s Compensation Survey has churches in the west near that attendance. The salary range goes from $64,000 to $132,000. That’s a wide gap but when you look at all the salaries for […]

XP Ministry Description, Church of 750

January 20, 2018

Hey Doc … I’m reviewing my ministry description as an XP. I’m in a church of 750. Can you give any input on it. 25% is Finance & HR, 25% is Working with Ministry Staff, 25% is Facilities and 25% is Leadership & Direct Ministry.

DRF—I always like percentages of time in a role description. It demonstrates an agreed upon priority of ministry. For a church your size, the percentages look realistic and doable. […]

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