Should a Youth Pastor Get Paid More If Their Ministry Is Bigger?

What’s a good size youth group for a church that’s your size? If you’re ministry is bigger than average, should you get paid more? If our ministry is smaller than average, does that mean you’re not doing a good job?

There are 500 different reasons why your ministry may be smaller or larger than other churches that are your size, and we’re not here to judge. BUT, we thought it may be helpful for all you YP’s out there to see our YP Heat Sheet of our churches sorted by Sunday sizes, with the number of respondents in each youth group size all in one place. Here it is!

The numbers in the colored boxes represent the number of respondents that are in that category. So for me (Dan), I’m at a church of 501-750, and I’ve got a high school group I lead of between 71-80 on average. There are 19 others like me. Though, some of them are undoubtedly running both Junior High and High School. If that’s the case, our JHYP and I, when we combine our programs, are in the 150-175 range, which I’d say means we are in rare air together, and our church has a very healthy ministry to students for the size church we have! You’ll notice the vast majority of YP’s shepherd a group of 40 or less. And then you’ll also notice there are a few YP’s with small churches running HUGE ministries. What’s in their Wheaties, cuz I want some? There’s also some huge churches with some humble student ministries. There is no rules here.

Why would we post this? We think, if you’re going to talk to your boss about a raise, it’s helpful for you to show data that supports that you’re doing an adequate job. Being able to show data on other churches of similar size, and compare your youth group size to theirs could be a way to display your competency. This can then lead to what we call a merit raise, or a raise you get because you’re crushing it.

I’ve heard it said (and I think it’s a reasonable idea) to have a student ministry that is at least a 10% cut of your church’s Sunday attendance. So a church of 200 should around two dozen teens coming. A church of 1,000 should have at least 100 students. You get the idea. Our data seems to support this idea. If you go to any size church, and then go look at the 10% of that church’s attendance, the youth group respondent number is always on the larger side of the data sample. It makes sense. It’s not a fact. But it makes sense.

But let’s get one thing straight: if you’re out there loving teenagers around the clock, teaching the Word, and pointing people to Jesus…you’re crushing it, regardless of how many sheep you’ve got in your pen every week. We’re for you! Keep on keeping on!

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