Knowledge Base

Expanded job descriptions for all 18 positions

Consult the expanded job descriptions below to match employees at your church with one of ChurchSalary's eighteen positions.

After consulting these descriptions, if you have a detailed question about which position may be the best fit, contact customer service.

To learn about how to combine data for hybrid jobs that fit multiple positions, click here.


Pastoral Positions

All of the "pastoral" positions may also be labeled at your church as a "director" or "minister." To simplify this list, we will refer to each position as a “pastor,” but please substitute the descriptor that suits your church.

Senior Pastor

This employee serves as the lead pastor in a church where there are multiple paid ministry positions.

Solo Pastor

These pastors are either the only paid staff member (period) or there are no other paid pastors serving on staff. In other words, there may be a part-time administrative assistant or accountant but no other paid pastors.

Pastors who lead para-church ministries or serve as church planters may be able to use this position to gather relevant salary data.

Executive/Admin. Pastor

An executive pastor handles ministry the supervision, management, and development of staff. They also typically oversee the planning and administration of the church budget.

In some churches, though, it is hard to differentiate between an executive pastor and administrator.

Ask yourself these three questions to disambiguate between these positions:

  1. Is this employee considered a pastor or minister (part of the pastoral staff)?

  2. Are they capable of or empowered to preach and teach?

  3. Do they share the responsibility of leading the pastoral staff spiritually, along with the senior pastor?

This aspect of spiritual leadership, either for the staff or the church as a whole, is usually part of the job description for executive pastors and is less common among church administrators.

Associate Pastor

Associate pastors typically hold a level of church-wide leadership that adult ministry or Christian education positions do not. However, this is not always the case.

These pastors can and will preach from the pulpit and/or are responsible for multiple ministries.

In some churches, the associate pastor will function like an assistant pastor to the senior pastor but without the administrative and/or financial responsibilities of an executive pastor. In these cases, the senior pastor retains the primary responsibility of leading and supervising the staff (including hiring, firing, etc.) while the associate pastor is empowered to oversee a broad swath of adult ministries and/or committees/teams at the church.

Job titles: Assimilation Pastor, Care Pastor, Church Life Pastor, Congregational Care Pastor, Connecting Pastor, Counseling Pastor, Disabilities Ministry Pastor (any), Ethnic Ministries Pastor (any), Evangelism Pastor, Family Life Pastor, Lay Pastor, Membership Pastor, Missions Pastor, Outreach Pastor, Pastoral Care Pastor, Pastoral Counselor, Prayer Pastor, Teaching/Preaching Pastor, Visitation Pastor, Campus Pastor, etc.

Youth Pastor

These employees (which are sometimes not considered part of the pastoral staff) lead and supervise middle school, junior high, senior high, and college ministries.

Female youth leaders are often called youth directors but still fall under this position. This includes both youth pastors who oversee paid middle school or college pastors and youth pastors who serve as stand-alone employees (supervise no one). ChurchSalary is working to gather data that will differentiate supervisors from non-supervisors and include that distinction in future reports.

Job titles: College Minister, Junior High Pastor/Director, Senior High Pastor/Director, Youth Center Director, Youth Pastor/Minister/Director, and so on.

Adult Ministry Pastor

These pastors/directors typically focus on a specific age group or defined demographic in the church (e.g., senior adults or women’s ministry). They also may handle a specific type of ministry for adults (e.g., adult hopsital visitation or missions).

To differentiate between an adult ministry pastor and an associate pastor ask yourself:

  • Is this employee responsible for multiple adult ministries (or youth and children ministries) at the direction of the senior pastor ? (They may be an associate pastor).

  • Does this employee provide the default pulpit supply option at your church (if the senior pastor is out of town or ill)? Or do they regularly preach and teach the entire church? (They may be an associate pastor).

  • Or is this employee responsible for a singular or demographically-specific ministry (e.g., senior adult pastor, women’s ministry director, men’s ministry pastor). (They are probably an adult ministry pastor/director).

Areas of responsibility: married couples, men, singles, seniors, women, and young adults.

Job titles: Outreach Pastor, Pastoral Care Pastor/Director, Small Group Pastor/Director, Director of Faith Formation, Community Director, Membership Director, and so on.

Children's/Preschool Pastor (Director/Coordinator)

Employees that fall under this position lead ministries for children that are organized in various ways, depending on the church and denomination:

  • Nursery through elementary school
  • Pre-K
  • Elementary school

This includes pastors who oversee preschool directors and those who function as a stand-alone children’s pastors who oversee a host of lay leaders.

Job titles: Children’s Pastor, Early Childhood Pastor, Elementary School Pastor, Preschool Director, Childcare Director, Daycare Director, and so on.

Christian Education Pastor

Currently, salary data for adult ministry and christian education pastors are combined. We are working to disambiguate these positions and offer narrower reports by gathering more data (and a higher level of data related to job descriptions and keywords). Help us gather more data by filling out the Excel spreadsheet version of our survey here.

Employees who serve in this role hold education-related roles. Their sole responsibilty is the spiritual sanctification and biblical education of adults.

Areas of responsibility: Bible studies, small groups, Christian education, catechism, discipleship, equipping, cell groups, spiritual formation, and so on.

Job titles: Cell Group Pastor, Small Group Pastor, Director of Catechesis, Education Pastor, Sunday School Pastor, Discipleship Pastor, and so on.

Music/Worship Pastor

These employees lead the music or worship ministry at a church. These pastors or directors of the music ministry often supervise paid (or volunteer) musicians.

Music or worship pastors are more than the lead singer or leader of a praise team. They are typically responsible for planning not just a list of songs to sing but for coordinating the non-preaching portion of the worship service. They are more than musicians and often supervise or lead a team of AV technicians who handle lights, sound, musical instruments, and recording/broadcasting the service.

Areas of responsibility: band, bell/chimes, choir, music ministry, orchestra, praise and worship team, vocal choir, AV technicians, and more.

Job titles: Music/Worship Pastor, Worship Director, Worship Leader, Multimedia Pastor, and so on.

Media/Communications Pastor

Includes paid pastors and directors who oversee drama, technical ministries, video, sound production, and more. May include positions such as Technical Director, Media Director, Drama Director, Production Director, Video Producer, Minister of Arts, and so on.


Staff (non-pastoral)


These employees are paid, usually not ordained, staff members who supervise the business aspect of running the church, such as business or financial management.

Administrators can wear many hats but their main responsibility is the administration of the non-pastoral functions of the church. To differentiate between administrators and executive pastors see the executive pastor description above.

Job titles: Business Administrator, Business Manager, Office Manager, Chief Financial Officer, Chief Operating Officer, HR Director, etc.


Accountants/Bookkeepers include paid personnel who assist with the day-to-day financial matters in the church. These employees are singularly responsible for things like payroll, counting and depositing the weekly offering, etc.

Job titles: Accountant, Controller, Financial Administrative Assistant, Financial Secretary, Payroll Secretary, Treasurer, etc.

Child-Care Provider

These employees provide regular or occasional childcare and are on the church's payroll as opposed to the payroll of a school associated with the church.

Job titles: Babysitter, Child Care Assistant, Child Care Provider, Daycare Staff, Nursery Attendant, Nursery Director, Nursery Helper, Nursery Worker, and so on.


Currently, salary data for custodians and maintenance personnel are grouped together. We are working to disambiguate these positions and offer narrower reports by gathering more data.

In the meantime, custodians are paid personnel who provide care and cleaning of physical facilities, buildings, grounds and security.

Job titles: Custodian, Grounds Keeper, Housekeeper, Lawn Maintenance Assistant, Maid, Maintenance Assistant, Security Assistant, Sexton, Traffic Coordinator, and more.

Maintenance Personnel

Currently, salary data for custodians and maintenance personnel are grouped together. We are working to disambiguate these positions and offer narrower reports by gathering more data.

In the meantime, maintenance personnel are paid employees who provide maintenance, repair, and oversight of physical facilities.

Job titles: Building and Grounds Manager, Building Supervisor, Facilities Manager, Plant Manager, Property Manager, Security Manager, and so on.


Churches regularly employee paid personnel who provide vocal or instrumental music or accompaniment. These employees may be regularly fixtures in the worship service or they may assist with major events such as Christmas plays.

Job titles: Accompanist, instrumentalist of any kind, Organist, Pianist, Soloist, Vocalist, and so on.

Secretary/Administrative Assistant

These employees include paid personnel who provide clerical or administrative support. They typically assist one or more full-time pastors or key leaders, such as a Business Administrator or Senior Pastor.

Job titles: Administrative Assistant, Clerical Assistant, Executive Secretary, Lead Secretary, Office Assistant, Office Clerk, Publications Secretary/Coordinator, Receptionist, Secretary, and so on.

Communications/Design Publications

Churches increasingly rely on paid personnel who provide design services, create publications, or otherwise oversee church communications. These services may be limited to print publications/communication but they often include an online component (or involve both).

Areas of responsibility: social media, church blog, Sunday worship bulletin, newsletter, website(s), press releases, brochures, curriculum, flyers, billboards, etc.

Job titles: Designer, Communications Coordinator, Publicist, Writer, Editor, and more.

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