*Compensation for full-time Southern Baptist pastors is rising slightly faster than inflation, but the mounting cost of benefits is forcing churches to provide fewer pastors with medical insurance.

These and other findings are part of the SBC Church Compensation Study, a survey of 11,674 staff positions in Southern Baptist churches. LifeWay Research conducted the survey in cooperation with GuideStone Financial Resources (www.guidestone.org) and Baptist state conventions through June 2010. All the data acquired by the study has been compiled into a Web-based tool (www.lifeway.com/compensationsurvey) that will help churches as they begin planning staff compensation packages for their 2011 budgets.

Compensation

Adjusting for church size (see Methodology), the average full-time Southern Baptist senior pastor’s compensation (salary and housing) rose 0.78 percent between 2008 and 2010. That rate of change was only slightly higher than the compounded 0.67 percent inflation rate for the same two-year period, according to figures supplied by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Consumer Price Index.

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