The church does everything it can to conceal this information, and with good reason. Many, if not most, members might be quite a bit more reluctant to sacrifice their own money if they knew just how much of it goes to lifestyle expenses for the McKeans.
Let's look at the year 2010, as I have the information on hand from the financial presentation that was given at the end of November, 2010. (As of this writing, the audio is still available on the official church websites if you search for it.)
At the end of November, (according to the audio) the church had taken in $780,000 for the year. And weekly contribution was $15,000, which multiplies out to a similar annual figure.
"Ryan," who is speaking, mentions that 2/3 of the money was going to pay for "people," which refers to ministry salary, ministry housing, ministry benefits, and ministry reimbursements.
Ryan the elaborates by stating that the church is paying for 5 ministry couples, and 5 interns. Kip comments elsewhere that these interns earn $700/month.
So 2/3 of $15,000 is $10,000 / week for ministry compensation, which comes to $520,000 per year. $161.50 of the $10,000 goes to each of the 5 interns per week, which adds up to $42,000 per year.
Subtracting the $42,000 from the $520,000 leaves us $478,000 to divide up between the five ministry couples on payroll at that time. If that were divided evenly into five, that would be $95,600 annual compensation per couple ($7,966/month). Not a bad paycheck!
However, Kip, who decides pay scale, does not pay all ministers the same. Kip pays leaders with more experience and responsibility more money, usually a lot more money. This is already evident in the split between the $700/month paid to the interns and the $7,966/month average compensation paid to the other ministry couples - a difference of over 10 times!
So if we are conservative, and we say that Kip pays himself and Elena, as the very top leaders in charge of the entire ICC, only 3x what the other City of Angels ministry couples earn, that would work out to about $220,000 per year. This would still leave over $75,000 for salary and benefits for each of the other four ministry couples. ($75k x 4 + $220k = $520k). And even $75,000 is enough money to live very, very comfortably in Los Angeles.
So there you have it. The best, good-faith estimate of what Kip McKean's salary looked like at the end of 2010, based on the limited, publicly available information: $220,000+ in 2010, and growing.
And please remember, every penny of that compensation came from the sacrifices of ICC members such as myself, who were told, and believed, that they are giving their money to God and to further "the movement."
Kip's total income from the church has most certainly grown since 2010, due to growth in ICC membership and income, as well as a huge (half-million dollar) new revenue stream from the International College of Christian Ministry (ICCM), which will be discussed in more detail in a later post. It should also be assumed that Kip also receives payments from MERCY worldwide in addition to these other sources of income.
As a point of comparison, when I was living in LA in 2010 I earned an annual salary of $39,000. Money was very tight, (mainly because I had been coerced into giving a full 25% of my income to the church.) So I had to be very careful. For example, we only had about $15/month in our budget for eating out. So one trip per month to In-N-Out with the family. And in the same month, I would donate over $500 to the church in weekly contribution, plus "Special Contribution," "contribution for the poor," and other church expenses like mandatory conferences.
However, in spite of the limitations, I was still able to use what was left of my money to pay my taxes, fully support my family of 4, and pay down school loans by thousands of dollars. And yes, even pay for an apartment that was good enough to hold Bible Talks and other church events in.
So I find it absurd that City of Angels ministry staff, and Kip McKean in particular, are compensated at such unbiblical levels. Did Jesus pull a big salary? No. The apostles? No.
It's especially maddening since every dollar for Kip's compensation comes out of the contributions and sacrifice of families who, on the whole, earn much, much less than he does. It's the reverse Robin Hood - take from the poor to give to the rich.
My opinion is that if the average member of Kip's church knew how much of every dollar they donate ended up paying for Kip McKean's lifestyle expenses, they would be quite a bit less eager to keep giving. Especially when that involves personal sacrifice, which it almost always does.
Does it make sense for you to skip eating at In-N-Out so you can give $15 more towards the salary of someone who earns 5x what you do, and who will spend the money eating at much fancier restaurants?
Well, I for one, will never give another dollar to Kip, or to anything even remotely related to Kip or his self-enrichment scheme.
"[T]hey are conceited and understand nothing ... people of corrupt mind ... who think that godliness is a means to financial gain" - 1 Timothy 6:4-5, NIV
See also: My Visit to Kip McKean's $650,000 Condo
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