This just in from my friend and colleague Warren Bird…Â Thanks
to over 700 churches that responded to Leadership Network’s â€œlean staffâ€ survey in January, we have some helpful insights for everyone. We compared churches that spend only 10%-35% of their budget on staff (which we call â€œleanâ€) against churches that use higher percentages for their staffing costs…
Responses included churches of all sizes, from attendances of 50 to 20,000. Among the things we learned:
* Lean staff churches do a better job with volunteers and lay leadership development.
* Lean staff churches invest a noticeably higher percentage of their budget beyond the walls of their church.
* Growing churches spend a smaller percentage of their budget on staffing costs, so theyâ€™re â€œleanerâ€ than plateaued or declining churches.
* Staff costs become leaner with size — as overall weekend worship attendance increases, but not dramatically so.
We conducted the survey in partnership with our friends at Your Church
magazine and Leadership
journal, both publications of Christianity Today International.
Get the 45-slide presentation
. Today we released the report pictured at right, for free download here
. Itâ€™s in PowerPoint style, so itâ€™s visual and easy to follow.
Read a two-page summary:
See Matt Branaughâ€™s â€œA Closer Look at â€˜Leanâ€™ Church Staffs.â€
Heâ€™s editor of Your Church
to a 12-minute podcast where Matt and I talk about the project, free download here
Consider joining our â€œLean Staffâ€ focus group,
a one-day forum on May 20 in Dallas. Weâ€™ll cap attendance at 25 people for maximum discussion. This is for churches that:
* Have staff costs at 35% or less of their total budget (or are intentionally and rapidly moving that direction).
* Want to compare notes with others, learning healthy ways to downsize staffing costs.
* Have a worship attendance (not membership) of 2,000 to 6,000.
If youâ€™d like to learn more, contact Bonnie.Randle@leadnet.org
weâ€™ll release another more in-depth report, announcing it in this blog and in Leadership Network Advance
. No doubt weâ€™ll blog a few other findings too, including a summary of learnings from the focus group.
As long as Iâ€™m writing about budgets and staff, may I invite you to be part of our just-launched 2010 Large Church Salary Survey? We conduct it every other year. Reports from previous years (2008, 2006, etc.) are available for free download at www.leadnet.org/salary
. Itâ€™s a very popular download because larger churches with attendance of 1,000 to 25,000 want to learn from peers in their size range â€“ which we cluster by different size groupings. Participants get the findings much sooner than everyone else. To participate, click or type this link: tiny.cc/2010Salary
Warren Bird, Ph.D., is Research Director at Leadership Network, and co-author of 21 books on various aspects of church health and innovation. Recent blog posts include More Sociologists â€œGetâ€ Religion, Report from â€œThe Unthinkables,â€ Meet Some Amazing Leaders Reaching Hispanics in America, More Large Churches Are Bridging the Racial Divide, Why Is â€œEveryoneâ€ Interested in Leadership Development, Whatâ€™s New in Young Adult Ministries
, Questions Raised by Executive Pastors, Downtown Churches: How Visible?, What Is Your Church Learning about Outreach? and Nigerian-Based Church Comes to North America.