The Preacher's
Pay and Home
The preacher pays approximately 20% FICA (Social Security tax) on everything he makes
(including the fair rental value of a home provided and the cost of utilities). The money
provided the preacher is not his take home pay, it is the pay before taxes and benefits are
withoutdrawn (his gross salary); the take home pay (net salary) would be approximately
50-60% of this amount. Think about how much is taken out of your paycheck, then add at least
10% more.

A church owned home provides it own unique set of problems between the congregation and
the preacher. Concerns for the preacher's family include: 1) the loss
of equity; 2) the loss of security; and, 3) the loss of flexibility. Specifically: 1) How would you like
for someone to tell you where you have to live? You have no choice as to neighborhood, floor
plan or amenities? 2) Home equity provides a cushion against college expenses, medical
expenses and retirement funds. 3) How many women would like to have to consult a
committee before they could decorate their home the way they want it? 4) How many women
would like to live in a home which everyone else in the congregation considers theirs? 5)
What about pets? Dogs, cats, etc. 6) Should the preacher lose his job, the first thing that
his family has to do is move - whether he has other employment or not. 7) Should the
preacher lose his life, the first thing his family has to do is move ~ whether they have
somewhere else to live or not. Owning your own home with mortgage insurance provides
security both as to a place to live and economic security.

Congregations should probably be thinking about what they are asking of the preacher in
such circumstances. Since I am not a full-time preacher (at this time), I can say something.
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