7 Surprising Stats from the 2013 Children’s Ministry Salary Survey

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Dollar3In Children’s Ministry Magazine, we’ve got the results of
our 2013 Salary Survey. No one else does a survey like this, so the
results are exclusive. We’ve asked paid children’s ministry
professionals to tell us how they are compensated for what they
do.

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The results are up on our website. After reading through the data, I thought I would point out some of the more unexpected findings and talk about them here.
Here are seven surprising stats from the 2013 salary survey.

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1.Going Up. According to our exclusive survey results, overall visibility, compensation, and benefits are on the upswing for professional children’s ministers everywhere. More people are falling in the median full-time salary range, $40,000 to
$44,999, with 22 percent in this pay range. Across the board, more children’s ministry professionals are seeing an increase in benefits, including 40 percent receiving pension and retirement contributions.

2. Equip Yourself. Half of you are given a book and magazine allowance, and 44 percent are given an allowance to
buy supplies. If you are part of the 56 percent not given a supply allowance, here are some craft supplies you can
make from scratch
.

sunday school

Kids LOVE these Sunday School resources!
Check 'em out and see why so many children's ministries around the world are having success with Group's products!

3. Rest and Relax. In 2013, the average paid children’s ministry staffer has four personal days to use and 12
paid vacation days. We’ve talked about how important it is to take some time off every now and again. Use that time off!

4.Here and There. According to the survey, 35 percent of you are bivocational, working two jobs to help
supplement your income. As someone who served in children’s ministry as well as holding a full-time job, I know the challenges that come with bivocational ministry. A huge thank you for all those out there that give two (or more) jobs their all.

5.Gender Equality. In 2008, our survey showed men in full-time children’s ministry made about $10,000 more than women. Today, those figures have balanced out. Both men and women make the median salary of $40,000 to $44,999.

6. Raise Rates. A little over half (51 percent) of children’s ministers were given a raise this year. That’s great news, because only 11 percent asked for one. If you are part of the 89 percent who didn’t ask for a raise, and you feel you deserve one, check this article out on how to get a raise without being pushy.

7.Missed Opportunity? We asked survey participants if they would ever turn down a children’s ministry position because of salary. In 2008, only 14 percent said they would. Today, 55 percent said yes. Are churches missing out on talent because of their pay range? Are children’s ministers missing out on God’s calling because of money? What do you think?

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What conclusions do you take from the findings? Again, you can find the full results here. Let us know your
thoughts in the comment section below. We know money isn’t the reason you got into this line of work. The work you do, leading kids to Jesus, is priceless. I want to leave you with this story of ministry and money. I hope it touches your heart like it did mine.

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About Author

David Jennings

David has served kids around the world for the majority of his life. From Texas to Romania, he has followed where God has led him. Most recently, he served for six years as a children's director in the great state of Alabama before moving to Colorado to work for Group as an associate editor.

30 Comments

  1. Children's Ministry Magazine

    I get paid $450 bi weekly. i have no "vacation days" or "time off" other than most Saturdays. im expected to sit in my office at my desk for 4 hours/day/m-f. my schedule is pretty flexible. I have a pretty great boss and are given "free run" of the childrens ministry to use the gifts and talents God has given me. I really love and enjoy what I do. I see it as more than a "job" but I feel so under appreciated by our leadership and parents. it's hard work. managing volunteers is a pain (for the most part). not having the space we need. not having the items we need. having no budget to work with. it gets tiring and sometimes you feel like you're always spinning your wheels. other times its fantastic. it's ministry and it's tough. that's the bottom line. if I got paid more I would like to stay longer. but I don't feel like I am "doing my part" to help provide for our family and I don't see a raise anywhere in my future.
    needless to say.. i'm considering my options I suppose… with a heavy heart.

  2. Children's Ministry Magazine

    Kayla,
    Thank you so much for all that you do. Please allow me to encourage you and others who find themselves feeling just like you. In 2004, I found myself in a very similar ministry opportunity as you and honestly I felt very alone. Here's what you do:
    1. Light the world on fire right where you are and others will notice.
    2. Make connections and friendships with larger churches that share your common values and uncompromising biblical principles.
    If you can kindle the relationship with the ones you really admire, they can really help you. If they are good, they have amazing connections and are always looking to add the up and coming stars to their teams. With the right heart, passion for ministry and someone who will invest in you, you too will quickly find yourself in a position to return the favor and invest in others.

  3. Children's Ministry Magazine
    Helmut Egesa Wagabi on

    It is so encouraging to note that reasonably good money can be made through the children's ministry in some parts of the world. Where I live, one must have some other job for his/her subsistence. The children's ministry tends to be voluntary and so fewer people take it up.

  4. Children's Ministry Magazine

    I know we need to support our families and being paid for it is important. But why do we do ministry is it for gain or is it for service and worship to my saviour. there is nothing greater than seeing a child grow in a life long relationship with Jesus and to be the person who helped lead them to start that journey. I have experienced this over the years and God has always provided. When we put God first amazing things happen. The support of leadership and recognition of the ministry of children is just or more important than others because of the foundation of spiritual life. If not done right will lead to a rejection of Christ and the church by the time the child is 12. I would like to celebrate all Children's Ministries people paid or not and my prayer is that your love for you saviour is the reason for doing your ministry.

  5. Children's Ministry Magazine

    I appreciate seeing the results of this survey. Thanks for doing it.
    One additional piece of info would be to know how many hours the children's pastors are paid for as compares with their church's and children's ministry weekly attendance.

  6. Children's Ministry Magazine

    I think the increase in the number of folkswho would decline a position based on salary indicates an increase in the professionalism in children's ministry. More people are supporting their families with the salary they get from being a minister to children.

  7. Children's Ministry Magazine

    Sometimes I feel alone in my ministry. Our pastor is supportive but there is no budget for any position. I work 60 hours a week at a job and want to do more ministry but there is nothing in the church budget for a children's pastor. There is a budget for the Youth pastor but he has half the teens than the children ministry. Sometimes, I don't understand.

  8. Many of us in Children’s Ministry have been satisfied to work part-time for an hourly wage, with little or no benefits because we love what we do and want to make a difference in the lives of children. However, it is my opinion that salaries are an important indicator of how much (or how little) a church values their children. When the Children’s Director or Pastor’s salary are in the same range as the other ministry directors or pastors, we can assume children are important and valued members of the congregation.

  9. I found the statistic that 55% would turn down a position because of pay sad. I was the director at my old church for about 8 years and never had any compensation. I was allowed a budget though and whenever I asked for funds for anything it was granted. I also didn’t feel that the lack of pay spoke of the church’s support or lack thereof of the children’s ministry. I understand if it’s a mega church where the minister needs to work 8 hours a day and can’t hold a day job (though I am curious what they do for 8 hours a day…I write our curriculum and plan and host all events and have never needed that much time). My congregation was in the 80s, about the size of the average church in America.

    In my new church (attending the church my fiance is from as we are getting married and deciding to attend his) there is no director. We rotate teachers each week (we have multiple teachers per class who teach 1 class a month) and none are paid. That said, I do a lot of the same stuff here as I did in my old church, just not as accountable for it. Ie scheduling the teachers, I write my own lessons and some for some of the other teachers, hold practices, decorate the rooms, etc. And again, this church doesn’t offer a salary but anytime I’ve ever asked funds for anything it’s been granted.

    I’ve always felt that if people will do it sans pay, then they won’t feel stuck if they get burned out or don’t want to do it later. If they decided they weren’t a good fit anymore they might not leave because it is their job and they need the money, which overall can hurt the ministry. Of course, the laborer is worthy of his hire, so I’m not against leaders being paid, but find it alarming that 55% of leaders wouldn’t do it if not paid.

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