congregations & Schools // compensation & employment


Compensation & Employment

“We ask you, brothers, to respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves.” (1 Thessalonians 5:12-13)

Schools, churches, and other LCMS ministries in the Minnesota South District are encouraged to use the tools below to ensure they are compensating their workers fairly.

These guidelines are for use by congregations and their salary committees. Copies should be made for the committee responsible for setting salaries, and originals should be filed for future years. It should not be construed as a mandatory set of rules but rather as recommendations to assist congregations in deciding issues which are common to all pastors, commissioned workers, and congregations.

Communication is vital. A salary review committee appointed by the congregation should annually discuss compensation issues with all it workers. The goal is to discover feelings and issues that need addressing and to assure that needs are being properly met.

Scripture has clear words of instruction for us in matters pertaining to the compensation of church workers (1 Thessalonians 5:12-13, 1 Timothy 5:17, Galatians 6:6). The review committee and the congregation should know and understand this counsel. From these passages, it is evident that we must treat those who labor in our midst with loving care and respect. Also, it is evident that good work deserves good pay. Therefore, the matter of merit should receive serious attention.

New compensation tools for 2019-20

At its May 2019 meeting, the Minnesota South District Board of Directors approved the use of the Compensation Decision Support Tool made available by Concordia Plan Services. Moving forward, the Compensation Decision Support Tool should be used to calculate compensation for LCMS pastor and parish professionals and LCMS school educators.

Note that there is a login page for both tools: “CPS” is both the username and password.

If you have questions or need assistance using the tool, please contact Minnesota South District Treasurer & Business Manager Rick Marko.

Compensation guidelines for churches

Using the LCMS Church tool, churches can create compensation estimates for most parish positions, including sole pastor, senior pastor, associate pastor, director of Christian education (DCE), director of Christian outreach (DCO), deaconess, director of family life ministry (DFLM), director of parish music (DPM), and lay minister.

Compensation guidelines for schools

Using the LCMS Schools tool, schools can create compensation estimates for most positions, including teacher, assistant teacher, head principal / administrator, assistant principal / administrator, and early childhood director. Schools from preschools to high schools can use this tool.

IRS standard mileage rate

Beginning January 1, 2019, the IRS standard mileage rate for the use of a car (vans, pickups, or panel trucks) is $0.58 per mile for business miles driven.

Learn more on the IRS website here.

Background check materials