By now everyone has read or seen the reports of a Republican
Senators requests from six different ministries for information related to
their financial affairs. It seems like a growing part of my job is to talk to
reporters to give them some perspective on the work of megachurches and their
While some of these ministries are based and exist as strong local churches, the requests also inquire as to related media ministries established by individuals. In this case, I think it is more accurate to describe the ministries identified as “televangelism.” Several of the leaders also lead large, mega churches. However, it would be a mistake to lump megachurch pastors into this same sort of category.
All of the targets of the information requests have been featured in numerous media reports in the past 18 months which questioned certain expenditures. These have been widely reported elsewhere.
I will make several observations in the next few posts but a few observations based upon my years of ministry with large church pastors.
1. Most large church senior pastors are fairly well paid. I
think our last salary survey at Leadership Network had the average figure at
around $130,000 per year. Some are higher, some are lower. (that is salary and
housing, there are often other benefits on top of that. While that is a good salary compared to some professional
positions, it is average for others.
2. Most large church senior pastors don’t have television ministries. Most of the churches that have television ministries are small, local cable operations that are funded by the church. Those that have extensive television ministries are rare when you look at the big picture.
3. There is an old saying “Sunlight is the best disinfectant.” I really admire those churches and ministries which are very transparent when it comes to administration and finances. Even when they may not give the exact figures for all positions, they are free in publishing the ranges for the tier of staff.
That sort of transparency breeds trust in both constituents and outsiders.
Part 3 – How much information should be provided?
(This post is also posted on the Leadership Network Learnings Blog)