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2016 Southern Baptist Convention Compensation Study

The 2016 Compensation Study was a joint project of state Baptist conventions, GuideStone Financial Resources, and LifeWay Christian Resources. Compensation and congregational data was collected anonymously from ministers and office/custodial personnel of Southern Baptist churches and church-type missions. The survey was conducted during the months of January-June 2016. Each of the state conventions promoted the survey among their congregations.

The survey involved an on-line questionnaire which respondents completed. The on-line questionnaire was carefully designed by an advisory group representing Baptist state conventions, LifeWay Christian Resources, and GuideStone Financial Resources. While collecting the data on-line may have hindered some from participating, the approach benefited the design of the questionnaire and implementation of the survey. Branching was used in the on-line questionnaire which means that respondents were only presented the questions pertaining to their position. This also resulted in “cleaner” and more complete information. A total of 14,076 usable questionnaires resulted from the survey and these are the basis for all reports. (Note: Paper questionnaires were made available to a small number of persons who requested them.)

While this data is made available through the reporting application with respect for the autonomy of each local church, the information can help a church be objective in considering appropriate staff compensation. All dollar amounts are annual amounts based on 2016 compensation. Cost of living adjustments should be made when using the data in subsequent years.

A key feature of this study is the CUSTOMIZED REPORT. It provides reports for only those churches of similar attendance, membership and budget to your own.