I have been thinking about this for a while. I have been wondering if merit pay for youth pastors would work. Is there a way to use this system in the positive without the negatives. In other words, you can never lose incentives, only gain them. “Pay” in this instance is not necessarily money. Incentives could be anything: conventions, trips, access, etc. if certain goals are met.
These goals would not consist of number of salvations, baptisms, etc. This would be too creepy and carnal. I am speaking from a purely programatic sense: Numbers, trips, job well done, hard work, team work, etc.
Teachers get merit pay if their classes score good grades, etc
Football players make extra money for tackles, catches, and touchdowns.
I don’t want to say Youth Pastor are lazy but like every other job, we have our few. Would merit pay be a cure for that? It’s not Gods’ fault if a youth pastor wants to sit at Starbucks all day hope kids show up (I understand demographic issues, etc.). We work in tandem with God. We reap what we sow etc. Does merit pay or rewards work in the context of the church? I don’t know. I have never been on that type of system. I would probably buck it, but it depended on the rewards not the losses for me. Could I gain access to things I would not normally get like a cool car, more money for my budget, a tricked out van for the kids, access to authors and musicians?
Before any of us get too high and mighty and say “this is a worldly way of doing things” think of all the things you would not do if there are no incentive for you to do it. Doing what God says with out results is one thing (see Jeremiah and most of the other prophets). You know that you know you were supposed to do it, but none of us would be full time or even part time youth pastors if we did not have a way to provide for our families (unless you are a prophet, see above)
The jury is still out for me. I am just asking questions.
Have you ever worked in a church with a merit “pay” system?
My question is, would you work harder if you knew you could gain something or that you would lost something?