In each discussion with a congregation considering inviting me to work with them, we get to the question, “How much do you pay an interim?” My consistent response for nine years, “Pay me what you paid your last preacher.”
Five reasons I think this is a good and fair request:
- You need an interim who’s as good at his work as your last preacher was at his.
- Paying your interim the salary you paid your last preacher is fair for small, medium, and large congregations.
- You’ll pay your next preacher as much, or more than you paid your last preacher. I’ll help you hold the place in the budget for him.
- A worker is worthy of his pay. If an interim preacher has spent his life learning, applying, and teaching the principles of transition, his knowledge and wisdom are worth that of any other consultant of comparable ability.
- People show respect, value, and credibility by compensation. Not every church has followed this principle, and I agreed to work with them. Observation: when a church did significantly less, it was also expressed in their attitude toward me. They expressed that by what they paid me and by the way they treated me while I was there. I just wasn’t that valuable. Non-verbal communication is powerful. Although I was paid well and lived comfortably, their response to that suggestion was the first sign of how I’d be regarded by them. I’ll ponder this in the future.
It’s expensive to be an interim.
We live where we work. We’ve lived in two houses owned by churches for use by their preacher. We’ve rented three apartments. We’re now renting a house close to Northside where we’re woking, and paying utilities.
We’re maintaining our house in Nashville. We pay utilities, property taxes, insurance, and mowing. We don’t move to a new location. We live there, bringing our clothes, computers, and an interim bed. Brethren loan us furniture while we’re working in a location. They pick it up when we leave. What isn’t loaned, Gail buys at a thrift store. This helps the most unpleasant part of our interim ministry, relocating every eighteen months.People show respect, value, and credibility by compensation. Click To Tweet
God has been good and provided for our every need and most of our wants. I appreciate the support of brethren to permit the enjoyable work we’ve been doing for nine years.