Pastor Book Allowance

I understand that the church can purchase books for pastors to help with sermons and such. It is also my understanding that if the church gifts the books to the pastor when he leaves, then the value is added to his W-2. I was told that the books needed to be used for sermons and not just bought to build up the pastor's library.

My question is, is there a practical limit to the amount spent on books, periodicals, etc.? Is there a point when it becomes excessive and becomes a possible problem for the church with the IRS?

Comments for Pastor Book Allowance

Click here to add your own comments

Jan 06, 2015
Is there a practical limit?
by: Lewis in NC

Yes, there surely must be a practical limit to almost anything. In the case of a book/periodical allowance for your minister, it could have reached an excess if any of the following happens: (1) The pastor says: "I cannot read/study/use these books, etc. as fast as you are providing the resources/money to buy them." (2) There is not enough actual income in the budget from year to year to provide a book allowance. (3) Several people in the congregation start to notice and question that the book allowance is getting too high, or the return on great ideas being generated in the minister's mind is not generally evident. (4) Most importantly, THE WORD from the Bible is not being abundantly referenced and shared within the weekly sermons.

These are just the first four reasons to come to "my" mind as to when a book allowance could be reaching an excess. How can we put a limit on what a minister or anyone is suppose to know or attempt to learn?? Your question is a bit complicated and interesting; good luck in seeking the best answer.

Jul 10, 2015
wiisdom is worth more than treasure
by: Anonymous

A church who is willing to pay for the furthering of a pastor (s) wisdom /education. Is in my experience a blessed and wise growing congregation.

The last church i went to our pastor went to several seminars classes


I learned and grew in my spiritual walk or pastor was changed immensely and it was an amazing time to watch each other grow in Christ as he blessed the givers the word seekers and our obedient staff.

Spur one another on ...

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Church Accounting FAQs.

If you want to DIY your payroll, I highly recommend you look at using Gusto! It is very user friendly and their support is awesome! Plus they know how to set up and maintain payrolls for churches and nonprofit organizations.

Note: I am a "partner" of Gusto, but as I have told you before ... I never recommend anything that we or our clients have not tried and love =)

Share this page:
Enjoy this page? Please pay it forward. Here's how...

Would you prefer to share this page with others by linking to it?

  1. Click on the HTML link code below.
  2. Copy and paste it, adding a note of your own, into your blog, a Web page, forums, a blog comment, your Facebook account, or anywhere that someone would find this page valuable.