In the previous post I listed some obvious benefits to growing your volunteer base. We have all experienced most of those benefits and many of us are hoping to grow the team right now because we know the potential for what could be. However, there’s another benefit to growing your volunteer base that was not so obvious to me.

Adding Volunteers Can Boost Your Attendance

volunteermathShocking, I know. Maybe you’re like me though, and you have always been so focused on the other benefits of adding volunteers that you never thought about this connection. Using different metrics to monitor the health of your church is critical, and one metric most churches uses is % of adults/students serving. Let’s say you have 300 adults and students serving on ministry teams and 600 adults and students attending on average, you would have 50% (300/600) of your adults and students serving, which is pretty good.

But, here’s another way to look at, and I believe this comes from Sam Chand, but I heard it 3rd or 4th hand, so don’t hold me to that.

First, take your average attendance divided by your volunteer number. So, in our previous case, let’s say it’s a church that averages 950 in attendance total (with kids) has 300 volunteers. The equation is:

950 (attendance) / 300 (volunteers) = 3.17 

That 3.17 is your number. It can change slightly, but for the most part it will stay the same. Reason being, if you add volunteers, usually the church grows and that number holds true. So, let’s say you add 100 volunteers (yay!).

950 (attendance) / 400 (volunteers) = 2.375

But, you typically won’t stay that way long because your real number (3.17) represents your ministry capacity (my phrase)What often happens is, your church grows to your ministry capacity again. So, after we dust off some simple algebra, the equation becomes:

3.17 (your number) x 400 (your volunteers) = 1,268 (your new ministry capacity)

Adding 100 volunteers can help your church grow from 950 to 1,268. Now, of course there are plethora of other factors involved and our volunteer base is not the only thing that can limit growth.

Three Things Volunteers Do More

In talking with Tony Morgan about this, he commented on how it makes perfect sense because volunteers do 3 things more:

  • They attend more frequently
  • They invite more
  • They give more

Two of those directly impact attendance. It makes complete sense, but I felt like I learned something completely new when I heard it. Thanks to Carl Kuhl for passing this on to me.

Have you seen this play out in your church or ministry?