Over the last several years, we’ve been collecting data from the churches with which we consult. One of the key questions we were interested in had to do with serving.
We wanted to find out how many people are volunteering in one of the church’s ministries, either inside or outside the walls of the church. Here’s what we’ve found:
The average church engages four to five people out of 10 in some sort of serving role. For the purposes of this research, we assumed kids aren’t serving, and therefore they aren’t included in the percentage. However, there are a few churches that are creating serving opportunities for older children as well.
The biggest surprise related to volunteers, though, had to do with its relationship to staffing. We’ve found there’s a correlation between the money a church invests in paid staff and the number of people serving.
As the percentage of the church’s staffing budget increases, the percentage of people volunteering decreases.
In other words, if you want more people to serve, you may need to spend less on staffing.
We’ll be sharing more details about this in a future eBook on measuring church health, but I hope church staff teams see this as a challenge. If you are paid staff at a church, your job is not to do the ministry. Your job is to equip God’s people to do the work of God.
Want to learn more about measuring church health? Here are the previous articles in this series:
Tony Morgan is the chief strategic officer and founder of TonyMorganLive.com. He’s a consultant, leadership coach and writer who helps churches get unstuck and have a bigger impact. For 14 years, Tony served on the senior leadership teams at West Ridge Church (Dallas, Ga.), NewSpring Church (Anderson, S.C.) and Granger Community Church (Granger, Ind.). With Tim Stevens, Tony has co-authored Simply Strategic Stuff, Simply Strategic Volunteers and Simply Strategic Growth—each of which offers valuable, practical solutions for different aspects of church ministry. His book Killing Cockroaches (B&H Publishing) challenges leaders to focus on the priorities in life and ministry.
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