Women on church staff tend to make less than men for similar roles. Depending on how researchers do the math, the current pay gap for women on church staff is between twenty-four cents and seven cents, meaning women make anywhere between seven percent and twenty-four percent less than men. The national pay gap is around seventeen cents. The national figure applies to all jobs, from unskilled labor to executive leadership. The church can do better. In fact, we should lead the culture in solving the pay gap with women.
While there are likely many reasons, I want to offer four possibilities—three of which place responsibility on the church for not providing enough support and one that places responsibility on the pastor for not being a wise steward. In my more than twenty years of serving in local church ministry and working alongside pastors and churches, I have seen all four reasons at play.
A few years ago, our small church decided we weren’t going to compete with all the shopping, school plays, office parties and visits to Santa that were filling people’s calendars. We weren’t able to keep up, so we stopped trying. Instead, we asked ourselves “what can we do that no one else is doing?” Specifically, instead of crowding their calendar even more, how can we help people simplify their Christmas season? We experimented with several ideas. Over the years, we’ve landed on a few simple concepts that work for us.
I’ve led in the business world, elected office, and now in ministry – and on dozens of non-profit boards. Along the way I’ve observed a few things about leadership. And, some great leaders have appeared along the way. I culled together 7 things I’ve observed and shared with the group things I felt they should know.
Given the fact that I’m just as prone to political sin as the next person, I’ve posted a list of the traditional “seven deadly sins” on my wall. Beside each of the seven, I’ve jotted down some ways that we are tempted to commit those sins in our political interactions. Finally, I’ve paired each of the deadly sins with one of the Beatitudes that will help us avoid temptation.