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MMBB Supporting Your Calling is Our Calling MonitorMMBB Supporting Your Calling is Our Calling

2023 Compensation Increases for Your Pastoral Staff


November 2022

Compensation and earning power are a significant component of financial well-being. Pastoral church leaders who are stressed about financial matters can find it difficult to fully dedicate themselves to their ministry. As your church enters its budget process, I ask you to consider the energy and spirit that your pastoral leader—indeed, ALL of your church staff—brings to your church community every day. As you do, please also pray for guidance on how to adequately compensate them for their contribution to the spiritual and missional life of your congregation.

Many of our pastoral staff and church workers have been called upon to work in new and creative ways. With the help of technology and through the skills of pastoral leaders and church workers, our prayer is that your church is also reaching wider audiences, extending the reach of your ministry.

MMBB stands alongside you as you celebrate the special gifts your pastoral leaders and staff bring to ministry. Those gifts include leadership and the multiple ways they help your church to lead in their communities despite the very personal losses they may have experienced during the pandemic.

Some items to consider when developing your staff compensation budget include:

  • Cost of Living Adjustment. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) has increased 2022 to 8.2% as of September 2022. Compensation continues to be lower for ordained ministers compared to other similarly educated professionals. In fact, the percentage change in average compensation of ordained American Baptist ministers who currently participate in our Comprehensive Retirement Plan reached 7.78% as of July 1, 2022. To address the cost of living while also being mindful of the financial stress facing congregations in these uncertain times, MMBB is recommending your church provide a compensation increase of 4.0 % in 2023.
  • Education and Experience. Is your pastoral staff paid in line with people in your community who have similar levels of education and experience—such as school principals, school superintendents and CEOs of non-profit organizations? If not, consider increasing your pastor’s compensation to meet community standards.
  • Merit Increase. Has your pastoral staff achieved exceptional progress in implementing the ministry vision and goals of the church? If so, consider rewarding them with a merit increase.

The enclosed Compensation Budget Worksheet can help you develop a pastoral compensation package. It shows you how to define salary, benefits (such as retirement contributions), and the housing allowance to more clearly determine adequate compensation for your pastoral leader.

If you have questions about staff compensation—and the special rules around clergy compensation are complex—please don’t hesitate to contact a Senior Benefits Specialist at 800.986.6222 or [email protected].

With blessings,

Perry J. Hopper
Associate Executive Director

Compensation Budget Worksheet

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