Pastor moving out of parsonage, should I get a raise?

by Lynne
(Atlanta, GA)

I work as a full time children's pastor at a church, and when I was offered the job, a parsonage and all housing expenses was part of the compensation package I was offered. The parsonage is not nice at all, but it has sufficed the last two years, however, my husband and I are outgrowing the tiny two bed/1 bath home and looking to buy our own home.

I think the church could get a good amount of rental income from the house, just due to the amazing location of the house (even though it's probably the smallest and worst house in the area, it's in a VERY desirable area).

Should I request a raise in my salary when we move out? Some pastors I know we're offered either a parsonage or an extra $10,000 a year. I think the church could make at least $17,000 a year just in rental income from the house. Would it be fair for me to request a non-taxed housing allowance raise of $10,000 a year, which really would be a very low estimate for the cost of housing in the area we live. Would that be a fair request to make?

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May 03, 2015
Pastor moving out of parsonage and getting a raise?
by: Lewis in NC

There is variable expense related to the upkeep of the parsonage. Your request for a housing allowance in lieu of using the parsonage is not going to rid the church of that variable expense, but create another fixed expense which may also set a precedence for the future. However, there is no reason you cannot request a cash housing allowance to be considered. Perhaps the parsonage could be offered as rental property for the church to see if it would generate enough revenue to cover some negotiated housing allowance agreed upon for you.

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