Figuring Out Your Worship Leader Salary

Jaime Brown on awkward salary conversations.

Several years ago I posted some thoughts on a “worship leader’s job description and pay“. And of all the posts I’ve ever written in almost five years, that one post has gotten the most hits, the most Google searches, prompted the most interesting conversations (especially from one guy who’s apparently sold more records than The Beatles), and emails to me from various worship leaders from around the country asking for advice about how to negotiate their salary.

Since I am not currently having this conversation with my church I thought it might be a good time to share a few thoughts (for whatever they’re worth) on negotiating a salary when you’re serving in full-time ministry. I just received a question from a worship leader about this yesterday, and here’s basically what I said:

1. In principle, your church should pay you around the average income in your area, for a person of your age, with your experience, education, and taking into account whether you’re single, married, and have any children. Wikipedia has this info for most cities, I think! It’s not unreasonable to ask your church to pay you a fair salary. Too many church employees think that it is.

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