How To Survive On A Youth Minister’s Salary

When I became a youth minister I took the biggest salary increase ever.  Of course before I was a youth minister I was a volunteer making $500/month.  Youth ministry won’t be the highest paying job out there, but it doesn’t have to be the lowest either.

Professional youth ministry involves sacrifice.  But, that doesn’t mean you have to be pinching pennies to survive.  There are options like working a second job, or if you are married having your spouse work. But, in the end the healthiest thing to do is:


There are people in your church who know money.  They can either coach you or match you with someone who does it for a living.  You’ll want to find someone who:

  • Understands money
  • Knows how to ask for increases
  • Trusts God with their finances

When you surround yourself with the right people, you’ll find the right support.


You don’t know how much you need until you start counting it.  A budget will help you save and spend wisely.  And, it will also show you how much to ask for when it comes to an increase.  The more you track what comes across your plate the more confidence you will build.


Youth ministry is a fairly new profession, especially in the Catholic church.  Know what the average youth ministry salary looks like, even if it means looking at other denominations.  When you know what value a youth minister brings to a church it will help discuss salary increases tangibly.


If you are feeling underpaid then you need to talk to your pastor.  While he might not be able to give you the salary you desire he can help you work towards it.  Bring it up in non stress filled times and be calm.

When you discuss salary do not focus on reasoning that results from personal choices you have made (i.e. getting married or buying a house).  While it might feel legitimate it might not be reason enough for an increase.  Focus on the value you bring the organization.


If you want to be a full time youth minister than you need to trust God.  Best way to do that is through tithing to your local church.  Not only does God promise to bless, but he’ll make sure you are heading in the right direction.  The more you trust God with your finances the more he’ll help you figure out the salary thing.

Youth ministry is still growing.  If anything have patience and figure out ways to advocate.  Get others to invest in the local church so that they can invest in you.  If you are feeling underpaid do not be distracted with side jobs and do not give up hope.  Be patient and God will provide.

Question: Which of these five steps are the hardest for you to take? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

For more on increasing your salary read How To Increase Your Salary here


How satisfied are you with your salary?