It was time to sit down with my church’s personnel committee and plan a new year, and I was ready. I knew just how to make the case for a salary increase: I asked for a raise to a level equal to 100 times our secretary’s salary. I explained that the standard metric for executives is a salary equal to 400 times that of the company’s lowest-paid employee. I expected the committee to praise me for my humility and to accept a salary request that was only one-fourth of the accepted norm. But its “no” was fast, fierce and firm.