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2019 Youth Pastor Compensation Report

In my experience there are two big factors that drive people out of professional youth ministry.

  1. Burnout – We are a tribe that works too hard, for too many hours, for too long, and forgets to take care of ourselves. One of the things my co-laborer at The Youth Cartel, Mark Oestreicher, says is, “A healthy youth ministry starts with a healthy youth worker.” I’ve seen this play out time and again throughout my career. Sadly, many of us drop out of youth ministry– and ministry altogether– because of the impact of burnout.
  2. Compensation – When I started out in youth ministry I think I was just amazed that I got paid for doing what I loved and was called by God to do. But then my wife and I had kids, bought a house, started thinking about the future, started dealing with the expenses of raising a family… adult life got expensive! Over the years I’ve watched an enormous amount of my friends leave youth ministry for other types of ministry or other careers altogether over compensation issues.

These two items are inter-related. In our Youth Ministry Coaching Program cohorts we work hard on the first item, helping youth workers develop life rhythms that promote longevity in ministry. And we’re thankful to partner with Dan Navarra to bring issues around compensation to the forefront.

This is the second year that Dan has published the results of his massive, online survey of youth worker compensation. Based on feedback from last year he made this years report much more extensive. Here’s how he describes it:

This year, we’ve heard the cry of our people, and compiled some focused data around the gender gap in YP compensation, and also created a mechanism that allows you to calculate your state’s salary average adjustment compared to the national average.  We’ve also done some “profiling” of a few of our most highly represented youth pastor’s, with the hope that it creates a broader understanding of how this data works together to help you understand what the youth pastor Market indicates your average salary should be based on overall experience, current tenure, education, and location.  I think there are a few ‘home run’ pieces of wisdom any youth pastor can glean from reading the full report that you won’t want to miss. We’ve got information about things like the housing allowance and opting out of social security that can literally put more money in your pocket each month without costing the church a penny more than they are already paying you.

Dan’s report is 14-pages of goodness and is available for free. Just fill out the form below and we’ll email it to you.

Posted on 11 Comments

11 thoughts on “2019 Youth Pastor Compensation Report

  1. This stuff is GOLD. If you’ve got any questions about salary, benefits, or compensation, get in touch with Dan and his team at YP Comp Pros,, they know their stuff.

  2. Love this! So helpful for negotiation! Thank you for your service!

  3. Thanks for all the hard work you guys put into this report! Looking forward to reading it and passing it on to others.

  4. Are these numbers take-home pay or total package?

    1. I am wodering the same thing. I would have thought they would have been specific.

    2. Take home salary with housing allowance added in only.

  5. This is so good I love reading it thank you so much for putting the time into it for all of us youth workers out there trying to make it happen

  6. This is ME! I’m thousand times grateful. This piece is a blessing and another opportunity for refueling. Thanks

  7. […] we’ve shared in previous years, the two main factors we find in talking to youth workers leaving the ministry to enter another […]

  8. […] The homeys at the Youth Cartel have a youth pastor salary report for 2019 which was prepared by Dan Navarra.  Dan found that the full-time youth pastor salary for 2018 is $46,581.  Not bad, huh? […]

  9. […] The average youth pastor salary  48k.  The youth cartel talk more about youth pastors salaries here.  Is youth ministry still for you?  What does your family need?   How long will you continue to […]

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