How Do We Compensate Part-Time Youth Ministry Staff When They Lead a Weekend, or Longer, Retreat?


We are in the process of updating our job descriptions and compensation guidelines for all part-time staff.  We are not sure how to handle compensation for youth ministry staff when they lead a weekend, or longer, retreat with the youth.  These retreats at times include significant travel time to get to the retreat location.  For both transit time and the whole time of the retreat the staff has responsibilities for the participating youth.  Since the staff is part-time, normally they are paid based on the hours they work in preparing and implementing the youth activities.  What are some guidelines for compensation when they are with the youth 24 hrs per day for the retreat?

We value out youth ministry staff and want to make sure they are fairly and equitably compensated.  We'd love to hear how other churches address this issue.  

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I spoke with a veteran youth pastor in a large church in West Michigan. Currently he is full-time and salaried in his position and therefore receives no extra compensation for the annual week-long serve project or week-end youth events.  He does though get a few days off, out of the office, when he returns.

When he was employed as a part-time, hourly compensated youth coordinator this was a topic of discussion.  The negotiated decision was that he was paid for 12 hours each day for the time he was at a youth event or serve project with the youth. 

He and I agree that the key is to have these conversations upfront, even at the time of hiring, to avoid a possible issue or misunderstanding at the time of the event.  To have a policy in place, in writing, is for the benefit of both the church and the staff person.