From the Department of Things That Aren’t Surprising:
Despite tending some of the poorest flocks, pastors at large churches across the American South are among North America’s highest paid, a new survey shows.
The study, conducted by a Dallas-based church think tank called Leadership Network, surveyed a total of 727 churches in North America with attendance ranging from 1,000 to more than 30,000. The number of institutions surveyed was more than twice the number of previous studies. A Houston-area firm that conducts searches for church executives, known as Vanderbloemen Search Group, also helped with the polling.
The study found that congregations in the South tend to pay their top pastors at these so-called megachurches more when compared to similar-sized churches in other regions. That is despite reports from the Department of Labor Bureau of Statistics that show wages in many Southern states, particularly in the Deep South, lag behind the U.S. annual wage of $49,084.
And in many cases, these pastors are telling their congregations that if they dig deep and pony up what they can that god will reward them. Except god doesn’t seem to be rewarding them. It’s almost like giving someone else your money makes them rich and you poor. Weird.