3 Reasons You Should Be Paying Your Children’s Pastor More
By: Tim Stevens
Usually when you see an article with a title like this, it was written by a Children’s Pastor. Or you might see a similar type of article written by a worship leader who says that all worship leaders are under-paid.
Let me assure you, I am not, nor have I ever been, a Children’s Pastor. It’s not my gift, calling, or passion. But I did love hiring and working with Children’s Directors and Family Pastors during my 20 years as an Executive Pastor. And in the two years since I left that role, I’ve enjoyed interacting with scores of leaders who pour their lives into helping kids and families.
If there is one thing I’ve become convinced of, it is that churches don’t pay their Children’s Pastors enough. How do I know this? Because in just about every church that has a paid Children’s Director or Pastor—they are among the lowest paid director or pastor on the staff.
Here are 3 reasons why you need to give your Children's Pastor a raise.
1. Your Children’s Ministry is likely one of the biggest growth engines of your church.
In every church I work with, I ask, “What are the most common reasons you hear for why people visit your church or continue to come back after their first visit?” In other words, why are you growing? And over and over, Children’s Ministry is in the top three reasons.The ministry you have to and for children has a huge impact on the growth of your church. If you have a great Children’s Ministry, it is almost guaranteed that your church is growing.
2. This leader personally impacts more people in your church than anyone else besides the Senior Pastor.
Most churches have a ratio of kids to adults of around 1:3 or 1:4. That means for every 3 or 4 adults in the auditorium, there is one baby or child in your children’s ministry. That also means that nearly half the big people in your auditorium are connected to one of the little people in a classroom or nursery.
3. If you lose your current Children’s Pastor, you will find it is very difficult to quickly find a capable replacement.
Our firm helps churches hire hundreds of staff each year, and the most difficult position you will fill is for a Children’s Pastor. Other search organizations have found the same results. Why? Well for one, there is a shortage of great talent in this field. Secondly, because of dual-income families, they don’t tend to want to move to a different location. And third, it doesn’t make fiscal sense to move for a new position when Children's Pastors' salaries are so low.
You may currently have a Children’s Director who grew up in their faith in your church, and so they will work for lower wages because of their love for the church. But someday they will leave, and at that time it will be nearly impossible to find someone else to work for the same wage. You will most certainly have to increase your budget in order to replace them.
My question is: Why not begin to pay them today what they are actually worth?