Wednesday, May 27, 2009

No TARP Problems Here

In recent months, the news has been filled with all kinds of stunning stories of large companies that took bail-out monies from the government, paid by our taxes, in order to avoid bankruptcy, only to discover that some of these monies were used to give unbelievable sized bonuses to their CEO’s and top officials who walked away with millions upon millions of dollars. Because of this, though we don’t divulge details of individual employee’s salaries publicly, I thought it was appropriate to be a little more transparent than usual regarding compensation, especially as it relates to me as the Senior Pastor of our ministry.

Without question, compensation and benefits are the largest part of our budgets expenses totaling $1,349,960 which involves the salaries of all full-time and part-time church staff including health insurance, FICA/Medicare taxes, retirement and worker’s compensation insurance. Keep in mind, that the backbone of our ministry is our staff who do such a great job in each of their respective positions and roles.

This figure is an increase of $172,134 over last year’s budget. Why the increase? One major reason is healthcare costs which continue to rise yearly at staggering rates.

A second reason for the increase is the addition of some key staff positions that we are hiring in order to help us keep pace with our growing ministry needs. This is allowing us to add key management roles that are greatly needed.

Is any of this increase due to staff raises? Let me say that I personally have declined any raise this year. Why? Let me give you several reasons. First, I am treated more than fair and am blessed to be your pastor.
Second, in a day when CEO’s are abusing their positions of power, I want to go the extra mile this year in being above reproach in this area.

Third, during a time in our nation when many people’s salaries are being frozen and people are losing jobs, I was not at peace with taking a raise this year, especially when we were having to cut our own church budget.

Fourth, we have several staff members whose salaries are below the national average for their positions and I desire to see any raises that are given this year go towards their packages.

This decision for me to bypass a raise this year was made in consultation with a compensation committee that is led by the chairman of our Elder Board which makes recommendations regarding my salary.

So as you can see, though the compensation/benefits portion of our budget is the largest area of expenses, we are going the extra mile to make sure that these funds are fair and above reproach. We are blessed to have the staff we have here at Grace and we want to be sure that they are treated fairly while being accountable for every dollar of the budget.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for joining us in the frozen salary zone. It is amazing how God continues to provide finacially.