What is the Cost of a Pastor in the GMC?

As churches are considering disaffiliation, I’m starting to receive more and more questions about how much it costs to have a Global Methodist pastor. The largest cost for many churches is their pastor, and, if that church is United Methodist, they are used to the top-down approach of the denomination where the church has limited control over costs. Here’s the primary costs:


Thomas Sowell gives a good explanation of how minimum wage rules hurt those trying to enter the job market. I think Equitable Compensation has the same effect as it sets the minimum compensation for pastors. If a church has to pay at least $45,000 for a salary plus all the other perks (parsonage, insurance, retirement), they are going to expect someone with experience and a proven track record. This can make it more difficult for a person to become a pastor.

In the Global Methodist denomination, there are no minimum compensation rules. Compensation will become more of a negotiation instead of a mandate.


Have you ever read the parsonage standards in the United Methodist denomination (page 191)? Some of the standards are condescending. Are there any churches that really think a parsonage without hot water is appropriate? Others are not realistic.

Parsonages can be a great benefit for a pastor and a church, but the added red tape is what bugs me. I think this ultimately hurts pastors by potentially putting them in opposition to their church. In the Global Methodist denomination, there are not any parsonage standards.

Health Insurance

For health insurance benefits, a Global Methodist church pays for the benefit the pastor receives. If the pastor isn’t on the health insurance plan, the church pays nothing. If the pastor is on single coverage, the church is billed for single coverage. If the pastor is on family coverage, the church is billed for family coverage.

This isn’t the case for many United Methodist churches. Many are billed even if their pastor is not on health insurance. The argument was always that it was good for the church to not get used to paying nothing. I never fully understood this because it treats the churches like they are not capable of managing money and understanding budgets.


Similar to the health insurance, a Global Methodist church pays for the benefit the pastor receives. The United Methodist pension plan was so complicated, it made it a challenge to just bill a church for the cost of their pastor’s pension. The majority of the money sent in by the church actually went towards the Defined Benefit piece of the plan (based on years of service instead of dollars contributed).

The Global Methodist retirement plan is beautifully simple. 100% of the amount that the church and pastor contribute goes directly into an account with the pastor’s name on it.

Death/Disability Insurance

The cost of this coverage is roughly half the price with the Global Methodist denomination versus the United Methodist the denomination. The benefit is a little less…60% income replacement for disability vs 70%.

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