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.
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.
Links Mentioned in This Episode
MinistryArchitects.com – 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 full-time staff equivalent for every 75 kids
- 1 full-time staff equivalent for every 50 students
- 1 (present) volunteer for every 5 kids and students
Percentage of Kids
- Kids should make up 15% of your church
- If you are under 10%, your church is probably dying
- After 25%, the ministry is unsustainable
Percentage of Students
- Students should make up 10% of your church
- If you are under 5%, your church is probably dying
- After 20%, the ministry is unsustainable
- A sustainable budget is based on $1000 per kid/student
- Budgets include staffing dollars and program dollars
Pay The Rent
- Numbers: Are you at 10% students and 15% kids?
- Programs: Do the families in your church know what programs are offered?
- Enthusiasm: If the people who work in your ministry were asked to describe it, would they use positive or negative terms?
- Have a conversation with your leadership and identify how many families you want to be able to care for.
- Determine what your current staff, volunteer, and budget ratios are. Begin building your volunteer base, then hire staff, and then make budget requests.
- Ask: What systems are broken? Pick one and commit to fixing it.
- Walk through the steps of “paying the rent.”
- 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.