Smart Money for Church Salaries2019-01-02T08:40:19+00:00

Videos of the Workshop Are Almost Ready!

Pre-ordering will begin on January 3

Drop a note to Fletch to get on the reserved list!

Hear From

Dave Dummitt
Lead Pastor 2|42 Community Church and Co-founder of

David Fletcher
Founder of XPastor

Monty Kelso
President of SlingShot Group

Brad Leeper
President and Principal of Generis

John Van Drunen
Executive Vice President and General Counsel of ECFA

Sarah Robbins
Vanderbloemen Search Group

Dave Milam
Vice President of Strategic Design, Visioneering Studios

Read the Christianity Today article
Listen to the ECFA podcast

Salary and church compensation mistakes are all too common. Fletch has seen easily avoidable mistakes more times than he can count during his eighteen years of being an executive pastor, as well as during his times of consulting and educating pastors around the nation.

  • Are the most talented staff paid less than the most tenured?
  • Do you receive across-the-board vs. merit-based raises?
  • Are scalable compensation guides built from comparative salaries?
  • Is there confusion with the ministerial housing allowance, FICA vs. SECA, and opting out of Social Security?
  • Does your church have adequate documentation?
  • Is your church exposing you to financial risk?

These mistakes cost churches great staff, strong vision, and kingdom investment.

As a result, we are bringing a one-day workshop, Smart Money for Church Salaries, to various cities around the U.S. (including Hawaii!) Church leaders and teams will walk away having gathered comparative salaries and prepared to create a compensation guide for their church.

This one-day workshop is the best way to get your staff and executive leadership team on the same page.

A pastor said …

I was eager to take my first full-time post in ministry.

The paycheck was larger than anything I had seen during my time in grad school.

After several years I had a growing ministry, an increased budget but no merit-based promotions—only across-the-board staff raises.

I started to ask: “Am I being paid properly for my role?” “Is my compensation based on track record or tenure?” “Am I being paid comparatively to other churches in the area?”

Does this sound like a familiar conversation? Is your Executive Pastor well-versed in what is tied and not tied to salaries? Does your Compensation Team have mature, scalable compensation structures? Does your Governing Board know why the staff is paid what it is? Is your church’s compensation rewarding the best performers or the most tenured?

Everyone in ministry asks these questions and yet few have the answers. Instead, church compensation oftentimes looks like viewing numbers through a glass darkly.

We’ll tackle topics like …

  • Should you be receiving (or giving!) a pay raise?
  • Is your salary consistent with your church’s compensation guide?
  • Does your compensation compare to others of similar ministry roles and contexts?

Do you have a plan
for fair and equitable compensation?

  • Do you have an automobile or cell phone allowance?
  • Does your church contribute to a retirement program?
  • Are you maximizing the ministerial housing allowance?

Senior Pastors

Your world gets easier when you lead your team with excellence in this area.

Executive Pastors

XPs must understand federal and state rules to create salary budgets.

Finance Office Leaders

Business Administrators and Finance Directors will knowledgeably implement FICA, SECA, the ministers housing allowance and more.

Church Board and Finance Team Members

Church leaders must understand comparative salaries and compensation grids. Fiduciary issues are their bread and butter.


Staff Pastors who oversee others and up-and-coming next generation leaders can learn their fair and equitable pay and how to justify it.

Key Volunteer Leaders

Those who help those who help lead your church need to understand compensation.

Many Compensation Teams forget that pastors and other ministry staff pay their own SECA. A salary of $50,000 may not be the same in the church as it is in the business world. Consider …

Non-pastors that earn $50,000 a year—the church contributes the FICA amount of 7.65% of wages, which is $3,825. The employee contributes another $3,825. A non-pastor takes home $46,175.

Pastors earning $50,000—pastors in Social Security contribute 15.3% in SECA, which is $7,650. The pastor has an annual take-home pay of $42,350.

How does the ministerial housing allowance change the numbers for pastors?

Pastors with a Bonus—Some churches give a bonus to offset SECA. For a pastor earning $50,000, a church can pay the 7.65% employer’s portion, $3,825. This is taxable and the pastors taxable earnings rise to $53,825. A pastor pays SECA of $8,235 on those wages. The pastor takes home $45,590.

Compensation gets complex the minute you investigate the regulations of the Internal Revenue Service and the Fair Labor Standards Act. Salaries for pastors have unique challenges, such as the ministerial housing allowance and the Self Employed Contributions Act. Churches have managers who are FLSA exempt and support staff who are non-exempt.

There is a dizzying complication of terms, acronyms, rules and regulations. To obey the law and help church staff, all must be complied with. There is no “easy fix” with the myriad of issues. Senior pastors must be aware of the principles. Other staff must become localized experts in implementing the myriad of issues.

What people are saying

David Fletcher knows the financial side of churches like few others.

Whatever he prepares is always substantial and sound.

Establishing a fair and legally compliant compensation structure for your church is critical—and it won’t happen by accident! The new, one-day XPastor Compensation Workshop is just what you need for an engaging, deep dive into the key areas of compensation. Your church must soundly address these items. Bravo, XPastor, for offering this much-needed resource!

Developing a total rewards system that addresses the needs of both pastoral and non-pastoral staff, while being good stewards of the resources entrusted to us as leaders, takes great wisdom and experience. David brings both of these to the conversation with a pastor’s heart and a firm grasp on employer/employee relations. There is no better resource to tap.

This workshop steps into a much-needed conversation in the church world. We want to lead and care for our staff well, and that includes how best to compensate each person. Thank you David for providing the tools to lead us in the right direction.

Church compensation is one of the most complex and sensitive topics around.  We all can use guidance when it comes to setting and adjusting compensation, and XPastor is ready to help with its national scope and unparalleled expertise.  Come to this one-day workshop to learn from the experts and be blessed with practical knowledge that is ready to be implemented right away. This workshop will be the best time investment that you make all year!

The compensation workshop is for church leaders going through real-life compensation challenges. You’ll hear biblical and legal answers that will equip you, bless your staff and protect your church family. The discussions will bring up compensation issues that you didn’t know needed to be asked and answered. You will leave with direction and immediate tools to implement your church’s compensation game plan!

Working with church leaders across the country, one constant refrain is “better discernment and knowledge around staff compensation issues, levels and processes.” This workshop will provide a reference point to make you better at working with your staff, your pastors and your board.

Brad Leeper, President, Generis

Smart Money for Church Salaries covers so many important areas for churches and their leaders.

David’s thoughtful case study should be carefully analyzed to make sure every compensation factor is considered by church leaders.

All I know is there’s a problem.

There is no other resource like this workshop. 

The workshop gives a workable game plan that would of taken me many days to create.  I need those best practices and conversations with my peers during the breaks. For any church leader that deals with compensation, this may be one of the best workshops you can attend to deal with such a complex issue.

David’s experience in figuring out best compensation practices spans decades and churches of all sizes. His unique, data driven, locally sourced approach to staff compensation removes the mystery while preserving privacy.

I didn’t know what I didn’t know! As an XP, the Compensation Workshops provide great insight and clarity into areas that our church really needed to get dialed in. I’m not necessarily a “numbers guy” … the information is engaging, practical and easy to implement. Thank you XPastor!

Jon Wright, XP and Church Consultant

WheatFields Good News Church

Been to a dry-as-dust workshop before?
Not with XPastor!

XPastor’s renown format is great content,
followed by interactive small group discussion
and then large group discussion.

You won’t be bored!

For the workshop, we will hear about WheatFields Good News Church, a compiled case study. It is anonymous to protect the guilty and the innocent. Successful WheatFields Church had a flawed compensation system and was breaking the law—big time!

We walk through back-room meetings, staff discussions and the thinking of how to solve “the compensation problem.” Journey with Dan Black, a leader at WheatFields, as he analyzes salaries, understands the maze of state and federal regulations, gathers comparative salaries and creates a compensation guide.

See the entire salary structure of WheatFields, from facilities workers to all senior leadership.

Platinum Sponsors

Special thanks goes to our Platinum Sponsors.

They will help teach part of the WheatFields’ Case Study.

We welcome the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability as a Platinum sponsor of the workshop. With its mission of Enhancing Trust, ECFA now certifies over 2,100 Christ-centered churches and ministries based on its high standards in financial management, governance and gift administration.

ECFA is also a leading provider of church resources, including the free ChurchEXCEL subscription at

Check out the XPastor page and free items from ECFA.

We welcome as a Platinum sponsor. Gyve is an online and mobile giving platform on mission to help churches build a culture of generosity.  The Gyve system creates environments to encourage donor development. Gyve provides donors with multiple giving options, including one-time, recurring and roundup (microdonation) giving.

Gyve is a generosity growth system equip with the reporting, data analysis and communication needed to allow leaders to better understand giving trends and reach users with target marketing and promotions, including videos.

Rolling out Gyve ignites a wave of generosity within your community, so whether you are mobilizing a fundraising campaign, looking to increase your operating budget or simply wanting to grow the discipline of giving in your church, Gyve is the solution.

We welcome Slingshot as a Platinum sponsor. Slingshot Group partners with the local church and ministry-minded non-profits to find and develop next level people through relational search and coaching services.

Founded in 2007 by Stan Endicott and Monty Kelso, Slingshot Group has forty associates nationwide that serve in the following divisions: Senior Leadership, Students, Childrens, Worship Arts, and Communications.

What sets Slingshot Group apart is their winsome and relational team who provide innovative solutions that facilitate the work of God on the journey of finding and developing the people you need.

We welcome Vanderbloemen as a Platinum sponsor. Vanderbloemen helps churches and ministries build great teams through church staffing, compensation, and consulting services. Vanderbloemen is an industry leader in executive search and consulting for the church, having worked with ministries of all sizes in nearly every state and several countries.

God has uniquely called and positioned your church to do what only you can do. Hiring the right team members, retaining them well, and building a healthy culture is vital to fulfilling that calling. Vanderbloemen partners with you to discover your church’s DNA as you find and hire great team members, navigate compensation and salary decisions, and build a scalable organizational culture.

Whether you’re planning your next hire, reorganizing your staff, analyzing your compensation structure, or need help with succession planning, build your best ministry team with Vanderbloemen.

We welcome Visioneering Studios. They are the only nationally-licensed, faith-based design-build firm that specializes in commercial, nonprofit and worship environments. We are not just developers, designers, architects, and builders—we are storytellers.

We come alongside our partners, who lead movements and organizations that have unique stories crafted by a unique people, place, and passion, to be trusted stewards of their story and space.

Gold and Silver Sponsors

As a Gold Sponsor, we welcome FellowshipOne, the industry’s premier church management software. FellowshipOne streamlines ministry details with the simple approach of aligning people, processes, and technology to maximize ministry efficiency and growth.

With the launch of FellowshipOne Insights, church leaders can have instant visibility into the attendance and giving trends in your church. This analytics tool offers unparalleled visibility into the effectiveness of your ministries. Lead your church into greater accountability based on data-driven analysis of where you are using your resources.

As a Silver Sponsor, we welcome Cass Bank. The Word says, “Where there is no counsel, the people fall. But in the multitude of counselors there is safety” (Proverbs 11:14). We at Cass Bank counsel with churches and ministries in the area of finance.

Cass Bank is a financially solid, 112-year-old bank that serves ministries across the country. If you are looking for someone to assist you with your next construction project, acquire property or refinance current debt, we would invite the opportunity to counsel with us.

Promotional Sponsors

We welcome Christianity Today as a promotional sponsor of the Workshop. Christianity Today’s Church Law & Tax Team publishes the award-winning Church Law & Tax Report and Church Finance Today newsletters, the award-winning and websites, and numerous print and digital resources that help church leaders keep their congregations safe, legal, and financially sound.

The Church Law & Tax Team is led by senior editor Richard R. Hammar, a Harvard Law School graduate, CPA, and author of more than 100 books (including the annual Church & Clergy Tax Guide, Pastor, Church & Law, the 2018 Compensation Handbook for Church Staff, and Church Finance, a book co-authored with Michael Batts).

The Church Law & Tax Team is led by an esteemed group of Editorial Advisors that include attorneys Chip Grange, David Middlebrook, and Frank Sommerville, and CPAs Michael Batts, Dan Busby, and Elaine Sommerville.

We welcome the Historic Agency as a promotional sponsor. Historic doesn’t call itself a marketing agency because they want to do more than just move product and grow numbers. They want to tell lasting stories.

With over five decades of experience, their team provides a suite of expert services fit to meet your unique needs. Whether you’re investing in brand & identity, communication strategy, assessments & coaching, or all things creative, they’ll align your short-term solutions with long-term strategy. “Let’s create something Historic together.”

Special thanks to the Historic Agency for their design and production of the Workshop notebook—their excellence, creative design and attention to detail is readily apparent!

We welcome The Church Network as a promotional sponsor. The Church Network (TCN) is an inter-denominational association of churches and individuals which exists to serve the church by promoting the highest level of professional competence in individuals serving Christ through administration in local churches. If you are involved in any capacity of church administration or if you desire a professional relationship with The Church Network, there is a membership classification for you.

TCN provides compensation benchmark resource through its cloud database. Part-time and full-time data are tracked as well as multi-site staff.