Frankly, most of the data on my blog (really, all of it until today) is drawn from the Presbyterian Church in America's (PCA's) stats. That's because, well, I'm in the PCA, so that is the data I have ready access to-- or have in the past, at least.
But recently Lifeway Research released study data on church compensation in the Southern Baptist Convention. (Lifeway Research is, obviously, the research arm of Lifeway Publications-- and THEY are the publishing wing of the Southern Baptist Convention.) The study data is interesting (to me), as most data of this sort can be.
The headliner find of the study is that raises and increases in SBC pastors' salaries beat inflation-- but barely. (This doesn't mean, by the way, that it covers a normal cost-of-living increase; inflation is simply when the value of the dollar-- or any other currency-- goes down, while the "cost-of-living" is what it costs to maintain a certain standard of living.) There is a lot of other data there-- and if you're in the process of negotiating your salary (especially if you're in the SBC!), then it will be a helpful tool.
One caveat that I would add: one friend (who was formerly an SBC pastor before coming into the PCA) told me bluntly, "Baptists are notorious for not paying their pastors well." I pressed to see if that was simply based on his own experience, and he assured me that it wasn't. This may be an unfair accusation, and I would welcome any Baptist readers to chime in about it-- but if he is right, then take this data with a grain of salt, as far as what is "fair" compensation for a pastor.
Here are some links:
- Read a summary of the study
- Visit the Compensation Study homepage, whee you can view the results of the study broken down by category.
- The study homepage also includes a "customized report" that will project what your salary should be, based on the parameters and findings of the study