The Youth Cartel | Instigating a Revolution in Youth Ministry
Founded in 2010, The Youth Cartel's mission is to encourage and challenge adults who minister to youth through holistic professional coaching, strategic consulting, transformational events, and inventive resource development that advance youth ministry in new ways.
Maybe you noticed? Maybe you didn’t. But a lot of our books are now available in paperback at Amazon.com as well Amazon in the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Spain, Germany, and Japan. With that in mind I wanted to answer some questions about buying our books on Amazon.
Amazon (again) FAQ
Question: So like didn’t you guys totally break up? You made kind of a big deal about it, too. Like it was a thing.
Answer: Like OK. We did totally break up. In fact, we dumped them because they were like taking money from us and it was gross and we dumped them. But we’re back together again. So yeah, it’s cool again.
Question: So wait… before you were losing money with them, so you broke up obviously, so what’s changed? How did you guys work it out?
Answer: They’ve changed. OK, well maybe not really because they still are still Amazon and all that stuff. But they have a new program we like and can work with that works for us a little better and as a bonus our books are now available to bookstores and in a lot of countries, which is ultimately better for our customers.
Question: So you’re not broken up any more? You’re back with Amazon…
Answer: I mean look at the arms on Bezos. We got our ticket to the gun show.
Question: So your books are available in a bunch of countries. Why aren’t your books for sale in all countries Amazon is in, like say… Canada or Australia or New Zealand?
Answer: We know. We want our books sold those places, too. I mean, we’re a publisher and we like it when our books are available everywhere. The short answer is that we’re now waiting for Amazon to expand the program we’re in to those places. We want it, other publishers want it, and I think Amazon is looking to do it.
Question: So if I live in France and I buy a book on Amazon.fr does that mean you’re shipping me a book from the States?
Answer: Nope, your book is actually printed in France… or at least somewhere in the EU. We have no idea what that means for the UK if/when they decide to break up with the EU but they have all sorts of problems to sort out.
Question: Are these books Prime eligible?
Answer: You better believe it.
Question: Can I get bulk discounts?
Answer: Amazon doesn’t offer bulk discounts. But we offer bulk discounts right here on our store, nothing has changed there.
Question: Great, can we talk about books on Kindle?
Answer: Our books do much better in paperback for us financially so we’re a bit slow on releasing them for Kindle. While Kindle is great for fiction, we’re a non-fiction publisher and like everyone else that does non-fiction… Kindle is on the decline. So that’ll be sporadic and based per title… but also demand. If you and 100 friends want a book on Kindle, let us know!
Question: Are you going to break up with Amazon again?
Answer: Gosh, I hope so. Breaking up and getting back together is fun.
The 2018 Youth Pastor Compensation survey had 297 full-time female Youth Pastors who participated in our 2018 data collecting, making up about 14% of the respondent workforce. We had another 219 part-time women participate, adding another 10% to our workforce. Our data is skewed heavily towards men, as there were 383 part-time male Youth Pastors and over 1,100 full-time; meaning about 76% of male YP’s are full-time while only 58% of female YP’s are full-time. So, right away, we can easily point out that our data suggests there are three times as many male Youth Pastors as their are female, and nearly 20% more of them are full-time.
Wage & The Comparisons Determined By Education
In our full report, we recognized a wage gap of 12.8%, favoring males. While over all full-time female YP’s earned an average of $42,060 in 2018, full-time women who began in ministry for the first time in the past twelve months started at an average salary of about $39,000. The three women in our survey who were hired full-time this year who possess their Masters earned $51,000 as a starting wage average.
In general, full-time women with a Masters (108 respondents) earned $47,767 while their male counterparts earned nearly $52,000. Women who have their undergrad degree earned $39,289. Men with their undergrad averaged $45,416. There’s exciting news ahead, as nearly 48% of the female YP workforce (both PT & FT) were hired in the last five years. That number is at about 40% among male YP’s; illustrating that our industry is beginning to hire women at a larger rate than it has in the past, even just five years ago. Not only are churches hiring more women, they are hiring seminary trained women at a higher rate than men. Among respondents, a little more than 30% of female YP’s hired in the past five years have their Masters, and 36% of female YP’s have their Masters overall. This compares to 32.6% of men having their Masters, and only 22% of male YP’s hired for the first time in the past 5 years having their Masters.
Bigger Churches Have Bigger Gaps
For both men and women a job at a larger church is more lucrative. At churches of 750 people or less, FT female YP’s earn an average of about $41,000 while their male counterparts earn $44,391. (Good for a 7% to 8% gap)
The average salary of full-time YP’s across both genders who work at a church larger than 750 people is slightly less than $52,000 while the average salary of a FT YP at a church of 750 people or less is $43,700 (a 32% gap between large 750+ churches and smaller churches under that number! WOW!). Whatever your gender, bigger churches equal bigger bucks. Women who work at churches of 750 people or more as a YP earn about $45,000 while their male counterparts earn $53,500; good for about a 15% to 16% gap in wage. There were 335 men who responded that are employed at a church of 750 or more as the FT YP, and only 79 women. So while over all size churches the workforce is made up of 75% male and 25% female; at larger churches of 750 people or more, the workforce is 80% male and 20% female.
How Denominations Are Helping and Hurting Equal Pay
Our largest denominational body that responded were Baptists. Among respondents they had 380 FT of which only 18 were female. However, those 18 females averaged an eye-popping $50,000 wage, while their male counterparts only earned $47,000. That salary average for Baptist women represents a significantly higher average wage than any other denominational body responding with at least 10 female FT YP’s. Almost a third of all FT women reporting were Methodist (98 respondents), averaging a $39,000 salary. Presbyterian women accounted for 22% of all female respondents; and they earn nearly $45,000. Lutherans had 7% of the total respondency, and came in with a $41,480 salary. Non-denominational Female YP’s earn nearly $44,000. It’s interesting to note that the largest denominational body of female FT YP’s (Methodist) had the lowest salary by more than 5% of any denominational body reporting with 10 or more female YPs. While, of course, many factors contribute to the salary wage gap, one prospective idea on how to begin to close the gap would be to have Methodists begin to pay their male and female pastors more highly. Across our 23 denominational classifications, counting Catholic and Non-denominational churches, Methodists ranked 20th in total compensation among both genders. If I remove the females from all of the data and rank denominations by what they pay their male FT YP’s, the Methodists jump up to #11 of 23 in our data from #20. So while it appears Methodists are very much in favor of having female Youth Pastors based on having the largest representation in our study, their compensation of their women is still giving less than equal value to their male counterparts. By comparison, Presbyterian women earn nearly $45,000, while their male counterparts earn less than $300 more on average; thus signifying not only an egalitarian theology, but also a real life practice that values equality between genders.
What Can We Do?
This is all very tricky because of the various theological traditions that exist and even participated in this survey. First of all, if you’re a woman, I’d encourage you to pay attention to how your denominational body treats women; not just theologically, but also where the rubber meets the road: how they pay their Pastors. I also think its worth considering that more and more women are being incentivized to qualify themselves more fully than men by pursuing Seminary training.
Also, my encouragement to my fellow men in youth ministry is to not presume you know what it’s like to be a women in ministry. This has been a boys club for a long time. And its shifting right before our eyes regardless of your theological stream. We Christians swim in a wide river of theology under the name of Jesus, and it’s time for our Boards and Bosses to not just preach and teach equality, but to consider how they can compensate women with similar tenure, education, and gifting the same as their male counterparts.
For far too long the church has been known for what we are against. It’s time for us to be known for what we are for; and equality in compensation ought to be one of those things. And that equality needs to start within our four walls before we can expect industries around us to take our message seriously.
What is the Onramp Cohort? It’s an online training approach focused on skills and priorities needed by people in their first few years of youth ministry.
We’re finding that churches often hire the right people–youth workers who enter the field for all the right reasons, many with all of the right educational background–but they just don’t have the experience they need to handle the practical day-to-day realities of leading a youth ministry in their context.
They love Jesus, they love working with teenagers. But now what?
That’s where Onramps has been so unique and helpful for participants. We meet online for 3 hours every other month, where we share what’s going on in our ministries, get input on each participant’s unique challenges, have specialized guest trainers, and spend time growing together in our youth ministry skills. Participants also get 4 sessions with a certified 1-on-1 coach, who gets to know their specific situations, and help them move toward desired outcomes.
So if you’re in your first few years of ministry, if you’re hiring a new youth worker who is brand new to the field, or if you know a fellow youth worker who might match that description: Onramps is for them.
We currently have 3 of the 8 seats filled. We are hoping to launch the next round of Onramp later this Spring.
In my experience there are two big factors that drive people out of professional youth ministry.
Burnout – We are a tribe that works too hard, for too many hours, for too long, and forgets to take care of ourselves. One of the things my co-laborer at The Youth Cartel, Mark Oestreicher, says is, “A healthy youth ministry starts with a healthy youth worker.” I’ve seen this play out time and again throughout my career. Sadly, many of us drop out of youth ministry– and ministry altogether– because of the impact of burnout.
Compensation – When I started out in youth ministry I think I was just amazed that I got paid for doing what I loved and was called by God to do. But then my wife and I had kids, bought a house, started thinking about the future, started dealing with the expenses of raising a family… adult life got expensive! Over the years I’ve watched an enormous amount of my friends leave youth ministry for other types of ministry or other careers altogether over compensation issues.
These two items are inter-related. In our Youth Ministry Coaching Program cohorts we work hard on the first item, helping youth workers develop life rhythms that promote longevity in ministry. And we’re thankful to partner with Dan Navarra to bring issues around compensation to the forefront.
This is the second year that Dan has published the results of his massive, online survey of youth worker compensation. Based on feedback from last year he made this years report much more extensive. Here’s how he describes it:
This year, we’ve heard the cry of our people, and compiled some focused data around the gender gap in YP compensation, and also created a mechanism that allows you to calculate your state’s salary average adjustment compared to the national average. We’ve also done some “profiling” of a few of our most highly represented youth pastor’s, with the hope that it creates a broader understanding of how this data works together to help you understand what the youth pastor Market indicates your average salary should be based on overall experience, current tenure, education, and location. I think there are a few ‘home run’ pieces of wisdom any youth pastor can glean from reading the full report that you won’t want to miss. We’ve got information about things like the housing allowance and opting out of social security that can literally put more money in your pocket each month without costing the church a penny more than they are already paying you.
Dan’s report is 14-pages of goodness and is available for free. Just fill out the form below and we’ll email it to you.
I am in search of 4-5 more groups who’d like to do a mission trip with me in 2019.
With all that’s transpired at the border we’ve lost a few groups even though our work isn’t at the border. Sigh. We’d love to replace those groups with new ones and I need your help to do that.
Trips are most popular in the summer but really we can do any time.
We primarily work in Ensenada, about 65 miles south of the border. Your trip starts and finishes in San Diego. (If you’re from SoCal and want to drive, that’s OK too.)
What do your mission trips do?
Each trip is fully customized, so it could be a wide variety of things. In everything we do we partner with local churches to advance their existing ministry. We get to know your team and then our group of pastors in Ensenada pair you with a congregation that they feel is a good fit. Most of our partner churches will only receive one team per year… and we have a good number of churches who would love to welcome a team.
Will we work with the migrant caravan in any way?
Every trip includes some education about border issues. I’ll tailor this to your team.
At this time we don’t have partners working with the migrant caravan who are looking to host teams. We are supporting local churches in Tijuana the best that we can.
Do you do construction?
Not really. We are not a house building ministry. We have funded some construction projects at local churches but our primary ministry is to build up and encourage the work of the local church.
Our hope is that you’ll consider coming back and working with the same congregation year after year.
Where do we stay?
Most groups will stay at a local church. If you’d like to pay more there are hotels available.
Who leads the trips?
I’m the point person for everything PPM is doing in Baja. So there’s a good chance I’ll actually be your trip leader. We work very, very closely with our local group of pastors as well. Everything we do is under the authority and working alongside the local church.
We also have a great staff, mostly made up of people who live in Ensenada.
Do I need to know Spanish?
Obviously, the more Spanish you know the better. But all of our staff speak both English and Spanish.
How much is it and what’s included?
Our trips are $595 per person for 6 days. This included transportation, meals, and the ministry. Basically, you get your group to the border and we take care of the rest. (There may be additional costs if your group wants to do a special project.)
How many people do I need?
Generally, the minimum group size is 15. We can handle groups of up to 50.
Fellow youth worker Dan Navarra set out on a simple mission last year to do something about it. He created his first compensation survey to get fellow youth workers the information they needed to have an informed conversation with their church about their compensation.
So far in 2018, more than 35,000 people viewed his report we published on our blog. Thousands downloaded a PDF version to share with others.
And now the work has begun on the new survey. This year Dan is working with The Youth Cartel and Christianity Today so that the information from his survey isn’t just shared with youth workers, it’ll be shared with all church leaders, administrators, and decision makers across the United States.
Dan needs your help. If you work at a church in youth ministry, part-time or full-time, please take 15-20 minutes to complete this years edition of the survey. Also, please send the survey link (https://goo.gl/yQyzzH) to any other part-time or full-time youth worker you know. The more people who take the survey, the more information Dan collects, the more accurate and localized the results will be to your context.
Our goal with the survey is simple: None of us do this for the money. But if we aren’t compensated fairly we won’t be able to serve in youth ministry for long. We know this is a problem and one way we’re combatting the problem is having really good, really fresh data. Thank you!