Church Health Check-Up: Volunteers

Last week in our Church Health Check-Up series, we looked at Kids & Students in attendance at your church. Today, I want to shift to the percentage of people serving in a volunteer capacity at your church.

Once again, we'll look at what I’ve learned as we launched and have grown through our first 5 years. We’ll also use this number as a barometer to ask certain questions when you’re above or below.

Healthy Percentage of Adults & Students Serving:


To figure this out, simply take your total number of volunteers and divide that by the number of Students & Adults in attendance. What do you end up with? The average number for the Church in America is around 45%.

Things to consider when checking your health against this metric:

If Below 50%

  • Are you overstaffed? Churches with larger staffs tend to have a lower percentage of people serving. The large staff begins to do the ministry rather than lead others to do the ministry.
  • Have you cast a compelling vision around why serving the local church is connected to initial spiritual growth?
  • Have you communicated the need? Most people come and go on a Sunday assuming you have all the help you need.

If Above 50%

  • Are new people attending your church? If you’re getting up near the 60% mark, you’ve probably seen a decrease in new attendees.
  • Serving may have become the end rather than the means. @@A serving role in church must lead to discipleship.@@ If people aren’t growing out of their roles and developing others into it, you’ve made serving the priority and not leadership and discipleship.

In our case:

Mission Church has always been portable, so there has never been a shortage of need. But we’ve done a poor job, at times, communicating our need. We often hear from people, “I didn’t think you needed my help.”  This breaks our heart, because while there is a need, we love seeing people find their way off the sideline quickly at our church. Our first 3 years of ministry, we were in the 55-60% range and have moved into the 40-45% range the past 18 months.

So when it comes to people serving, where do you stand? How is it affecting your church?