How To Increase Your Salary

Money can stress me out.  I don’t like that it does, but when something breaks or a life change that involves money happens, I can freak out.  I love ministry, but life is expensive and there have been times when I’ve wondered, “Is it really worth it?”

It’s no secret that a youth minister’s salary is nothing to brag about.  But, money isn’t why you got into youth ministry.  You got involved to serve Christ, mobilize the church and change lives.  That doesn’t mean compromising your family’s well being.  While working in a church takes sacrifice you need to look at making sure you have a salary that:

  • pays the bills
  • secures your future
  • gives you breathing room

While there is no get rich quick plan in youth ministry, a few steps you can take to increase your salary is:


Never assume your pastor is cheap or holding back.  Make sure you communicate the needs that are in your life (i.e. daycare expenses).  It’s not about asking him for money, it’s just making sure he knows where you are in life.  Build trust and work on your relationship so that when it is time to ask for that raise, it’s not as awkward.


If you expect your church to give you more money, they are going to expect that you are wise with what you manage already.  If you are careless with your youth ministry budget, they might question whether or not you really need more money.  If you are shown as prudent and wise, they’ll believe your needs are as important as you convey them.


You might need a salary increase; however, your church might not be in the place to give it.  Right now our church is in the midst of a capital campaign.  This isn’t the best time to ask them for a salary increase.  Understand where your church is limited, so that your ask doesn’t come at the wrong time.  To understand the financial status of your church talk to your business manager, or pastor.


The financial health of your church is really what determines your salary.  If people are not giving then you can’t expect to be paid much.  Tithing needs to be a habit embraced on every level of your church.  As a youth minister you can make an impact by teaching the next generation the importance of tithing. Not only will it improve the relationship they have with God, but with the local church.


If you are truly called to ministry God is going to provide for you.  You just need to trust His guidance.  The best way to trust God financially is by working on giving.  Start by giving a percentage of what you make.  Then look at increasing as much as you can.  While you might not get that raise right away, God will bless you unconditionally.

These steps won’t guarantee a salary increase; however, they’ll put you in a healthier place.  Don’t expect to get paid because what you do is valuable.  Communicate your expectations and trust in God.  He will provide and you can make youth ministry a life long career.

Originally published at Marathon Youth Ministry.  Republished with permission.
I love ministry, but life is expensive and there have been times when I’ve wondered,

Chris Wesley

Chris Wesley is the Director of Student Ministry at Church of the Nativity in Timonium, MD. Chris is passionate about serving alongside of in the trenches youth ministers. On top of full time ministry Chris mentors through the prison ministry unCuffed and writes on his blog Marathon Youth Ministry. For fun Chris hangs with his family, cooks in the kitchen and runs an obscene amount of miles.

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