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

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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 ...

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.

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