I meant to write about this some time ago.
Holly Boardman has a petition at General Conference that deserves wide discussion and debate. The petition would cap* pastoral compensation at twice the rate of the base salary for a full-time clergy. If a charge chooses to exceed the conference maximum salary, it would be required to contribute a matching amount to the conference equitable compensation fund. That fund would either supplement pastoral salaries to the base level within the conference or be used as gifts to be sent to annual conferences in greater need of clergy support.
As Holly indicates, many of those gifts could be used in Africa where many pastors receive little or no pay despite working in extremely difficult situations.
Holly has said she has been told the petition has little chance of passing.
Even so, it is interesting to read the comments on the proposal at Holly’s blog, including a couple by African clergy who say the proposal would be a great boon to their ministry.
Here is one such comment from Bishop John K Yambasu:
Hollis, you have hit the nail on the head. In Africa, we continue to lose the best and the most trained and qualified of our pastors simply because we do not pay them “acceptable living wages”. Those we struggle to send over seas for higher studies never come back at the end of their training because of our poor conditions of service. Rather than negetively impact ministry, this petition if passed at GC will completely and totally transform ministry in Africa and will send membership increase in geometric proportions.
If Holly’s proposal is not a good solution to this problem, then I hope the General Conference spends some time talking at length about the good bishop’s observations.
* See Holly’s comment below for a correction/clarification about the petition.