Compensation planning resources available – California Southern Baptist Convention

Compensation planning resources available

Published Sep 30, 2019

DALLAS — As many churches enter budget season, they are seeking ways to stretch limited budget dollars to cover a myriad of good and God-honoring goals, including Cooperative Program giving and outreach in their local community.

One additional area churches shouldn’t forget is their biblical obligation to provide well for their pastors and other church staff.

“Paul reminds Timothy that ‘the laborer is worthy of his wages,’” said OS Hawkins, president of GuideStone Financial Resources. “And to the Galatian believers he reminded them, ‘Let him who is taught the Word share in all good things with him who teaches.’

“One thing I am convinced, after a quarter century in four different pastorates and another two decades here at GuideStone, is that most all churches want to do right by their pastors and staff. Some simply do not allocate resources in a way that helps the pastor.”

GuideStone’s Compensation Planning Guide is free on its website, The downloadable workbook helps develop a solid budgeting plan for the benefit of church and staff. The website also links to the most recent SBC Church Compensation Survey to help gauge how other churches of similar size and geography are compensating their pastors.

In establishing a compensation plan that follows best practices, churches are encouraged to follow six essential steps, outlined in the planning guide:

  • Determine the needs
  • Establish written policies
  • Provide for ministry-related expenses
  • Provide employee benefits (including health and retirement benefits)
  • Determine personal income
  • Complete a compensation planning summary
  • For further study, churches also can access a useful primer at, which helps explain the benefits of compensation planning for pastors and church leaders.