Six Surprising Insights Regarding Church Budgets and Salaries

December 13, 2016
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Podcast Episode #285


Church budgets and staff salaries are sometimes sore subjects in churches. Today we examine six trends in church budgeting and salaries that affect churches of any size or denomination.

Some highlights from today’s episode include:

  • Growing churches typically have lower per capita giving than established churches.
  • Having a large outside income at a church can discourage tithes and offerings from members.
  • One of the most rapidly growing trends in the church today is the outsourcing of support functions.
  • No matter the church, you can outsource some functions to save funds and create greater efficiencies.
  • We are seeing a gradual decrease in church staffing expenses as a percent of budget.
  • Church staffing needs should be evaluated constantly, not just addressed at budget time or when someone leaves.

The six budget and salary issues we discuss are:

  1. Growing churches pay their pastors and staff slightly less than declining churches.
  2. Only two percent of the churches’ budgets are funded outside congregational giving.
  3. One third of the churches increased the outsourcing of staff over the past five years.
  4. Overall church staffing costs have declined to 49 percent of the budget.
  5. The attendance-to-staff ratio is 76:1.
  6. About 81 percent of churches limit visibility of specific salaries to a board, a subcommittee, or senior staff.

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Resources Mentioned in Today’s Podcast