What should the preacher pay for a wedding, funeral, etc.? (2023)

"The worker is worthy of his salary." (This is in both the Old and New Testaments).

People often ask if we have written anything on this site about fees: how much would be appropriate to pay the minister for a wedding, funeral, banquet or conference at his church.

I haven't...until now.

I guess the reason is that it's so subjective, so hard to pin down. Different regions of the country and different denominations have their own customs and expectations. But for what it's worth I'll give it a try. I am well aware that we are leaving some questions unanswered, some issues not being addressed. But here goes.

At my last wedding they paid me $550.

This generous and surprising amount was entirely his decision. Two months earlier, when the bride asked, “How much do you charge?” I replied, “I have no fees. Whatever you do will be good. Perhaps I suggested that she ask her pastor (they lived several states away and came to Mississippi for a family reunion and wanted to get married while they were all together) what she thought was appropriate.

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So I owe you a thank you note. (Actually, I owe him one. He conducted the prenup sessions and even sent a note to that effect.)

Each pastor has his story. I got $500 at another wedding, but that was too much and above the norm. When I first got married it was like $10 or $20, but back then you could live on $100 a week. (Yes, Ginger, there really was a time in America.) In recent years, the typical gift for a wedding has been $100 or $200.

I remember a couple of times feeling sorry for the couple getting married under difficult circumstances and assuring them that we would not charge them anything, not even for the church (with its huge air conditioning and electric bills and cleaning costs) and not for a my. When they arrived at the church in a limousine and toasted with champagne, I felt that someone had deceived me.

I have done funerals where the fee was not enough to pay my mileage. And he did a week-long revival where that was the case. If the people were poor or the church was small, there was no problem. But that was rarely the case. Lack of consideration is most likely to blame.

But all the ministers did. It is normal. You don't get into this job to get rich.

So here are my guidelines. And yes, "Guidelines" is all we can do since there are so many variables...

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1.Let's start with a base of $100 or $200. Give the minister at least that amount. Give more if you can or if you have a good reason to. Here is my suggested scale:

$100 is the minimum. $200 is pretty good. $300 seems generous. Anything beyond that is a true blessing!

Of the.Give the minister something, even if you walked into his office and he held the wedding without preparation. I won't list the reasons other than to say it's the right thing to do. They are not paying for your time, your formation or ordination, or your availability. You just show appreciation, and that's enough.

Be generous with the minister as he probably is generous with everyone in life.

Three.Give him more when he has spent more time with you.

Have you spent time in premarital counseling sessions? Did you come to rehearse? (Don't discount what you paid for his rehearsal dinner, mate. He worked there just as much as if he was in his office or behind the pulpit.)


four. Did she have any additional expenses – travel, etc.?

Even if he only wore his black suit to the wedding, he would still have to pay! and chemical cleaning. If you drove your car a good distance, the IRS considers a reasonable mileage reimbursement rate for anything over 50 cents per mile. And remember, you're talking back and forth. If you had to stay out overnight, add enough to more than cover the cost. If you are staying with the wedding party at the hotel where everyone is staying, make the reservation and pay for the room.

Cinco.If there are other considerations that make this event unusual, ask a different minister than the one involved, which would be fair. Make sure they know you're not trying to do as little as possible, you're trying to be fair.

When I host banquets, I don't just stand up and talk for 25 minutes, but I sit at the table before and after an hour or two and draw everyone. Most of the time I skip lunch and draw during dinner, then get up and talk. The job is much more difficult than you think. As a general rule, a church will pay me the same amount as the last man who attended the banquet, ate, and talked, but did nothing else. And (God knows my heart), I'm fine with that. The Lord is my source.

Six.(Only for ministers).If you are the minister, my advice would be to reprint this article (unless you have nothing else to offer the newlyweds in terms of fees), but delete this point first. Because number 6 for you is this:"Do not organize weddings, funerals, banquets or offer sermons for money."If you do that, you will be constantly frustrated. Look to the Lord as his resource, not to a church or an individual. Expect to harden at some point. Expect to be surprised by his generosity from time to time. And expect to endure everything. Do your work only for the Lord Jesus.

Other than that,There is no fixed rate.Or a minimal fee. Even if the number is small, it smacks of greed and is interpreted as such by some. So better not to.

(Video) When a pastor goes to a funeral 😂

Seven. If you cannot pay the pastor a reasonable fee, let him know when you extend the invitation. So the decision is his. (I predict he'll almost always be happy to help you out for free when he has nothing to give. He doesn't do this job for the money, though the worker is truly worth the salary from him.)

I suggest small church ministers, yes the large church minister would like to preach in your church and should not be automatically excluded. But he would tell you that it is a small church, how many would be in the services, and how much he would expect to be able to pay you. From there, the decision is yours. (In many cases, when he invites you to a revival meeting, he suggests starting on Monday night and ending on Friday. This allows you to stay at his church on Sundays. The revival I have had as a visiting pastor was a day of work week, that's why the minister served a large church in Florida and was in such high demand that he rarely missed a Sunday at his own church.)

Act.No one has ever shamed the Lord, hurt a servant, or regretted being generous. So be generous.

When pastors hold revivals, it is wise for the visiting pastor not to protect the pockets and bank accounts of his members. A church that is generous to the visiting pastor honors the Lord. In addition, we participate in the ministry of a minister when we contribute to his support.

A short testimonial...

I retired from a salaried ministry position in 2009. Since then I have been involved in ongoing ministry in various churches, denominations, conferences, revivals, retreats, etc. And I have learned a lot. A) Only the Lord is my portion, my resource. Looked at him. If the offer/gift was small, I appreciate it. If it was great, I appreciate it. B) Sometimes when the donation was way less than I need and I wonder what the hell the visiting pastor was thinking, I noticed something wonderful: The next church will almost always make a difference.

(Video) Episode 5 - Paying for a Funeral: Dollars & Sense

So when a church makes a generous gift to a minister, rather than question or even anger deacons and other leaders ("Are you telling me we paid that minister $2,000 for a Sunday job?"), I suggest they treat as if the Lord was using you to balance a church that has not been able to be as generous to the Lord's servant as you would like him to be.

Everything we do, we do for the Lord.


How much should you pay a preacher for doing a funeral? ›

Some pastors will state outright the fee for them to conduct the funeral service, while others will ask for a donation to the church. When it comes to donations, this can either be a monetary donation, with $150-$200 often being the most common, or a gift.

How much should a pastor charge for a wedding? ›

They'll give a price or quote that's standard for their services, and may even list prices on their website. A standard fee for a wedding officiant usually ranges from $500 to $800.

Should a pastor be paid for a funeral? ›

When a family asks one of our funeral directors or staff members to help them find a pastor we typically recommend that they budget $150 to give to that individual. Sometimes however, the family prefers to take care of the honorarium themselves so we would not include that in our contract.

What is an appropriate honorarium for a funeral? ›

Honorariums. A contribution is generally given to the officiant who presides at the service. Because customs differ from place to place, rely on your funeral director or the secretary at your house of worship to suggest the proper honorarium, since anything from $100 to $300 or more could be appropriate.

Do you tip a pastor for a funeral? ›

Funeral minister, clergy, or religious leader

While there isn't usually a fee for this practice, it's appropriate to leave a tip. Don't feel pressured to pay more than you can afford. Anything from $50-$300+ is fair, and this money is usually given directly to the church or religious organization.

How do you say thank you to pastor for funeral service? ›

Thank you so much for leading the service with such grace and kindness. Your assistance in preparing the eulogy meant the world to my family and me. You took the time to create a memorial that truly honored the man my father was, and I now understand that I carry his memories with me always.


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