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News for Friday, January 31, 2014

Compensation Study Benefits Churches
By Shelly Moon and Lonnie WIlkey
1/31/2014

TBC, SBC leaders encourage churches to complete online survey

DALLAS — Ministers and church employees are invited to participate in the 2014 SBC Church Compensation Survey: a tool used by churches of all sizes to determine fair wages and benefits. Participants will be entered for a chance to win an iPad. The survey and complete contest rules are available at www.GuideStone.org/CompensationSurvey.

“GuideStone continues to be an advocate for pastors and church staff, ensuring that they are compensated fairly,” said O.S. Hawkins, President of GuideStone Financial Resources.

“That’s why we partner with LifeWay Christian Resources and Baptist state conventions to produce this biannual study.”

Richard Skidmore, financial support specialist for the Tennessee Baptist Convention, is a strong advocate for the church compensation study.

“This survey provides vital information for personnel committees, search committees, finance committees, directors of missions, and church staff members regarding salary and benefits provided for church staff,” he observed.

 Skidmore added that the data “is used to create some of the most frequently requested reports for churches and staff.

“The survey is being conducted online and can be completed in a few minutes by a church employee, treasurer, administrator, or financial secretary. I urge all our church staff members to participate.”

Survey results are not reported individually. Compensation and benefit information can be contributed anonymously.

Each Southern Baptist church employee who participates in the survey plays a vital role in building one of the largest databases of church compensation information in the United States. Survey results provide a baseline of compensation data among similar-sized churches within each state convention. Therefore, a higher number of participants leads to a more accurate baseline of compensation data.

“We receive numerous requests to answer compensation surveys throughout the year,” said Al Fausch, director of business and financial administration at Calvary Baptist Church in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. “We don’t participate in them all, but we always try to complete GuideStone’s survey.”

Churches often don’t contribute to salary surveys because they don’t have time or receive enough valuable information in return.

But according to Fausch, GuideStone’s survey is worth the time because it provides customized reports to allow administrators, personnel/finance committees, and minister search teams to better determine adequate compensation for ministers and staff. That can be essential information for thousands of churches, which makes the survey worth the few minutes it takes to complete.

Like many other church leaders, Fausch has accessed previous survey results when hiring new staff to ensure that employees are being compensated at competitive levels.

“The results are easy to navigate,” Fausch said. “I encourage everyone to participate. We are helping each other as well as ourselves by establishing accurate benchmarks.”

At the conclusion of the survey, GuideStone and LifeWay will compile the submitted data and provide all users with access to the results.

“This survey, which is one of the most comprehensive of its kind, will help scores of churches as they seek to provide for those who are called to lead their congregations,” Hawkins said.

Southern Baptist church ministers and staff have until May 31 to complete the online survey. Survey results will be released this summer. Survey participants will receive advance notification of the results and can begin to access the data upon notice.

The winner of the iPad will be notified via e-mail.

Contact GuideStone Financial Resources with any questions or issues. Call toll free 1-888-984-8433 Monday-Friday between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. CST to speak with a customer relations specialist, or send an e-mail to info@GuideStone.org.

In Tennessee, questions may be directed to Skidmore who can be reached at 1-800-558-2090, ext. 2009, or by e-mail at rskidmore@tnbaptist.org. Heather Beard, who works in financial support ministries, will also be available to provide assistance. She can be reached at 1-800-558-2090, ext. 2061 or by e-mail at hbeard@tnbaptist.org.

— Moon is a marketing writer at GuideStone Financial Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention while Wilkey is editor of the Baptist and Reflector.

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