New Survey Examines Salaries of Megachurch Pastors

A new national survey of more than 250 large churches nationwide sheds some light on how much pastors at these "megachurches" earn.

While there might be no established criteria to officially designate a megachurch, the study by Leadership Network in Dallas discovered:

"The typical megachurch in the survey is suburban, has a total budget of over $5 million and has more than 50 full-time staff."

The average salary for a lead pastor at a megachurch is $147,000. The study said the salaries run anywhere from $40,000 to $400,000:

"A church with a budget of $1-1.99 million provides, on average, the senior pastor with a salary of $91,000. The average salary for a senior pastor at a church with a $10 million or more budget is $189,000.

"The median age for the senior pastor in surveyed churches is 49.

"Most of the surveyed churches have some debt, but the amount is equal to or less than the total amount of its annual budget."

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    Al Tompkins

    Al Tompkins is The Poynter Institute’s senior faculty for broadcasting and online. He has taught thousands of journalists, journalism students and educators in newsrooms around the world.

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