To negotiate or not to negotiate . . . that is a question that I am often asked, and it is the question that I began addressing in last week’s blog. This week let’s take a broader look at negotiating, think some about the church’s responsibility and talk about some resources.

In the last few weeks as I have spoken with search committee members, I have been greatly encouraged by their preparedness. These recent conversations have indicated to me that more committees are doing good research in order to offer appropriate compensation packages to their candidates. These committees have consulted helpful resources, reached out to denominational leaders, and gathered the data necessary before making an offer. If committees haven’t done this work, here are a few resources I often suggest:

MinistryPay.Com, a resource from The Church NetWork, provides information on ministry salaries. It is a subscription-based service and costs $185 per year, but with that subscription comes helpful data for over one hundred job titles within the church, including salary data and other compensation information that is based on church size, geographic region, and the candidate’s experience and education background. Churches that are in process of calling a pastor or other minister should consider MinistryPay.Com an investment in “getting it right.” Consulting this or similar resources allows the committee to know that their salaries are in keeping with those of other churches and that their candidates will be offered a fair package.

“The Laborer Deserves To Be Paid” Compensation Responsibilities For Church and Church-Related Employers is an excellent resource from Ministers and Missionaries Benefits Board that addresses best practices in establishing a pastoral relations committee and in determining appropriate compensation package and annual increases. This downloadable document also includes worksheets to help with figuring out housing, insurance, disability coverage, and taxes. MMBB also has a PowerPoint that is helpful.

Laura Stephens-Reed, a certified Christian leadership coach, recently produced a new resource, Sailing Uncertain Seas: A Workbook for Navigating the Search & Call Process, which is an excellent collection of reflection questions aimed at helping ministers think through each stage of their search, including the negotiating process. This resource is available for purchase, and Laura has graciously provided a 15% discount for friends of Baptist Women in Ministry. To take advantage of that discount, click here.

If you know of other resources that have been helpful to you in the negotiating process, whether you are a search committee member or a candidate, I would love to hear from you! Happy negotiating!

Pam Durso is executive director of Baptist Women in Ministry, Atlanta, Georgia.