In this episode, I talk with Anthony Prince of Ministry Architects. We talk about what healthy benchmarks are for staffing, volunteers, and budgets in children's and youth ministry.

Anthony Prince

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Newhope Church

Share Your Staffing & Volunteer Ratios

I'm running a survey of church leaders to see what their staffing and volunteer ratios are like and I'd love your input. I'm also giving away 25 prizes worth almost $2,500 as motivation.

Click here to see the post and complete the survey

Links Mentioned in This Episode – A consulting firm that helps churches create systems for sustainability

Sustainable Youth Ministry (book) – Mark DeVries shares the main reasons most youth ministries fail and points leaders to questions and structures that will help them thrive

Staff and Volunteer Ratios

  1. 1 full-time staff equivalent for every 75 kids
  2. 1 full-time staff equivalent for every 50 students
  3. 1 (present) volunteer for every 5 kids and students

Percentage of Kids

  1. Kids should make up 15% of your church
  2. If you are under 10%, your church is probably dying
  3. After 25%, the ministry is unsustainable

Percentage of Students

  1. Students should make up 10% of your church
  2. If you are under 5%, your church is probably dying
  3. After 20%, the ministry is unsustainable

Budget Benchmarks

  1. A sustainable budget is based on $1000 per kid/student
  2. Budgets include staffing dollars and program dollars

Pay The Rent

  1. Numbers: Are you at 10% students and 15% kids?
  2. Programs: Do the families in your church know what programs are offered?
  3. Enthusiasm: If the people who work in your ministry were asked to describe it, would they use positive or negative terms?

Action Items

  1. Have a conversation with your leadership and identify how many families you want to be able to care for.
  2. Determine what your current staff, volunteer, and budget ratios are. Begin building your volunteer base, then hire staff, and then make budget requests.
  3. Ask: What systems are broken? Pick one and commit to fixing it.
  4. Walk through the steps of “paying the rent.”
  5. Reach out to Anthony and consider connecting your church with Ministry Architects.

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Next Episode: Jeff Reed

In the next episode, I talk with Jeff Reed of Lifeway Kids. We talk about the changing emphasis in children's ministry over the last couple decades and the growing interest in gospel-centered approaches. We also talk about Lifeway's most popular children's curriculum, The Gospel Project.