I’m often asked if the church budget should show individual staff salaries and without hesitation I always say, “NO, not on your life!” Here’s why.

First showing all the salaries encourages mediocrity. Why? Because the same mindset that publishes individual salaries also wants to give across the board raises, which is always a horrible thing to do. One staff person is performing effectively while another is just getting by, and they both get the same raise. How do you think the effective leader feels if they know poor work is regarded the same as effective work? It has a tendency to squash hard work and encourage slackers. Such a situation is never good.

The second reason not to show individual raises follows in the steps of the first – it discourages paying people based on their performance where one person may not get a raise, another gets a 10% raise, and another gets a 5% raise because it can create jealousy among the staff. And don’t be so naïve as to think that never happens.

However, I do believe you should publish the lead pastor’s salary so the congregation knows that the church is responsible with its money.

Question: How have you seen staff salaries managed well? Or maybe not so well? Share your thoughts in the Comments section below.

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