While small Evangelical churches have long relied on unpaid (or very poorly paid) pastors, the same hasn’t been true for small mainline congregations. A recent article explores a trend: an increasing number of small and declining mainline congregations are opting for part-time pastoral leadership, and paying these clergy limited salaries or providing them no compensation.
According to Hartford Seminary’s 2013 Faith Communities Today survey, mainline churches current salary practices for pastors are
- 2% unpaid,
- 30% paid part-time, and
- 68% paid full-time.
Given the economic realities associated with running small congregations, it appears likely that the future will include more and more mainline clergy in the unpaid and part-time categories.
- How large is your congregation? How many pastors does your congregation have? Are these individuals compensated? If so, at a part-time or full-time rate?
- What do you think are some of the greatest strengths of relying on bi-vocational clergy? some of the greatest challenges associated with doing so?