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The Average Salary of a Church Pastor

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The average salary of a church pastor varies greatly according to the geographical area and size of the congregation. Paying the preacher a fair salary allows him to care for church members without worrying about making a living elsewhere.


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As a rule, the pastor's salary should be close to the average income of the parish's members. Another way of gauging a fair salary might be to pay him wages that are comparable to what the principal of the local high school earns, according to


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Many churches offer a parsonage, or home, for their pastor to live in. A minister does not usually pay rent or utilities for this home. The costs of maintenance and homeowner's insurance are also covered by the congregation. Churches that offer a parsonage for their pastor can consider this expense when determining the amount of his salary.


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In addition to the pastor's salary, many congregations give him an allowance for expenses such as gas, vehicle maintenance or cell phones. Travel expenses relating to attending seminars, visiting shut-ins or members in the hospital or nursing home are typically allowed by most churches. A pastor might also claim expenses relating to continuing education at a local mission or seminary.