The Job of a Pastor Intro

We’ll see more on this series about the job of a pastor over the coming year. I just wanted to get a headstart on this.


About Pastor’s Book Budgets

40% of pastors have a book budget provided by their church for purchasing books, Bible software, and related resources.

Pastors who do not have a book budget say the main reason is that they pay for books out of their own pocket. (47%)

Other reasons why pastors do not have book budgets:

They believe their church is too small (23.7%)
The church never thought of having one (8.9%)
The pastor is unsure of how to establish one (5%)
The pastor is only part-time (6.2%)
Other (9.1%)

72% of all pastors with book budgets felt their current book budget met their needs in relation to their experience and role in their church.

There are a couple common ways pastor’s book budgets are accounted for within a church budget. First, 36% of respondents with a book budget said they receive a “Pastor’s Expenses” account from which they spend where they need. Second, 32% of pastors have a separate line item in their budget for “Pastor’s Book Budget”, which is devoted specifically to purchasing for the pastor’s library.

The Pastor’s Library recommends prioritizing a pastor’s book budget into its own category because it is a vital part of a pastor’s day-to-day work. To separate the “Pastor’s Book Budget” from other pastoral expenses is to assure your pastor that their continuing education is important to the church.

Is your book budget outdated?

36% of pastors who responded that they had book budgets say their book budget was increased within the last two years.
32% of pastors surveyed who have book budgets have never seen their budget increase.
72% of pastors surveyed who have book budgets feel their book budget is about the same or lower than pastors in similar roles at other churches.
It is clear that many churches have considered revising their pastor’s book budget in the last few years. As books become more expensive, it is important that pastors and their congregations develop or reevaluate book budgets so pastors can acquire the resources they need.

Also, with advancements in technology that make Bible software a strong resource for a pastor’s library, pastor’s should consider using their book budget for more than print materials. If your church has not considered a book budget or has not evaluated it recently, now is the time!

How many books do other pastor’s libraries include?

14% of pastors have 101-200 books in their print-based pastoral library, the most common response. 201-300 books was the second most common response.

31% of pastors have spent more than $5000 on their existing personal pastoral library in print.

Where do most pastors acquire resources for their libraries?

1. Local Christian Bookstores (1064 responses)
2. Online Christian retailers (923 responses)
3. Online retailers that aren’t expressly Christian (737 responses)
4. Mail order catalogs (513 responses)

Most pastors find that utilizing their local Christian bookstore is the most promising avenue for finding new resources for their pastoral library. Another alternative which will only continue to gain popularity is online retailers, which can include Christian retailers like or non-exclusive retailers like

Where do other pastors learn about new resources?

Nearly 3 out of 4 pastors obtain information about new resources to add to their personal pastoral library through referrals from other pastors.

What are the most popular sources for new resources for pastor’s libraries?

1. Referrals from other pastors (952 responses)
2. Browsing items at a local bookstore (791 responses)
3. Referrals from friends (787 responses)
4. Magazine reviews (685 responses)
5. Ministry newsletters (650 responses)

It is clear from our results that pastors appreciate the ability to hear what their peers think about valuable resources for their libraries and how they utilize their book budgets. The Pastor’s Library has compiled a recommendations section, which includes reference articles describing valuable library resources and guidelines on how to discern what types of resources you should add to your library.

Find out more about books and other resource recommendations

What tools do pastors use to prepare their sermons?

In the next two years, over 1/2 of our surveyed pastors say they will spend at least 30% of their book budget on software or electronic books.

Most pastors spend somewhere between 10-20 hours a week preparing for their sermon and doing personal study. (1318 total responses)

Most commonly, pastors say they save 2-3 hours a week by using Bible software over print resources for their sermon prep. (1335 total responses)

What about Bible software?

More than 4 out of 5 (83.2%) pastors feel Bible software has become more commonplace in the Christian community during the last two years. What Bible software programs are most pastors using and why?

Surveyed pastors most commonly use the following Bible software programs:

Logos Bible Software (46.6%)
BibleWorks (6.7 %)
PC Study Bible (5.5%)
QuickVerse (6.3%)
WORDSearch (4.8%)
Online Bible (4.6%)
All others (25.5%)

The best aspects of using Bible software over traditional resources are:

Time-Savings (28.1%)
Portability (9.7 %)
Thoroughness (21.1%)
Search entire library at once (19.3%)

Find out more about Bible Software

About the pastors and their churches:

Surveyed pastor’s primary roles:

Senior Pastor (58.8%)
Executive Pastor (2.4%)
Teaching Pastor (9.9%)
Associate Pastor (12.7%)
Youth Pastor (8.7%)
Other – includes Lay People (7.4%)

Church size breakdown of surveyed pastors (average Sunday attendance)

Under 50 people (21.6%)
51-100 (26.3%)
101-200 (23%)
201-300 (10.5%)
301-400 (5.1%)
401-500 (2.8%)
501-1000 (5.6%)
Greater than 1000 (5%)

Author: philipdean2013

Seminary graduate with a Ba. in Theology/Pastoral Studies, Happily married, Independent Baptist. I can't keep silent about what I see going on in Christianity any longer! Apostasy reigns around us, churches are sliding into worldiness, a whitewashed Gospel is preached everywhere... "Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein. Jeremiah 6:16 (KJV) So, I'm speaking out. ...Why aren't you???

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