How Much Should Your Church Staff Be Paid?


Did you know that churches in the United States spend an average of 50% of their annual budget on church staffing?

That’s what our friends at The Unstuck Group discovered in a recent study on church trends.

Maybe that’s a healthy percentage for your church, perhaps not, but no matter what season your church finds itself in – growth, plateauing, or decline – your leadership team is having conversations about how much to pay staff.

Since this such a felt-need for all church leaders, we wanted to help you answer the question, “How much of our budget should go towards staffing?”

Last week, our President and CEO, Joseph Sangl, hosted a webinar with Tony Morgan of The Unstuck Group to discuss the issue of budgeting for church staff.

It was an incredibly helpful event for so many pastors and church leaders because this is such a felt need in every church.

If you missed the event, we wanted to provide you with a brief recap of some of the content we covered.

Is the 50% mentioned above a healthy ratio?  

Joe and Tony would say yes.  

Budget vs. Staffing

They shared what a good overall budget model for (most) churches could look like:

  • 50% of your overall budget towards staffing costs

  • 33% towards operations

  • 17% towards missions

They also addressed questions like:

  1. How do you manage staff costs?

  2. What do you do when staff members are UNDERPAID?

  3. What do you do when staff members are OVERPAID?

  4. When do you need to move someone from a volunteer to a paid staff member?

  5. When do you need to move someone off staff?

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