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General Interest

Inside Job: Large Church HR Directors Offer Unique Perspectives on Their Work

By February 2, 2016 No Comments

I love my job

By Warren Bird (brought to you by MAG Bookkeeping)

Larger churches are known for long-tenure senior pastors. Indeed, it’s quite an impressive number of years in office that the average (median) senior/lead pastor of a North American Protestant church has served, according to Leadership Network data:

  • 24 years for churches 10,000 and higher in weekly worship,
  • 20 years for churches 5,000-9,999 in weekly worship,
  • 16 years for churches 1,000-4,999 in weekly worship.

But what about the staff that support these senior pastors? They too have significant tenures, especially when compared to their counterparts in the marketplace. The average tenure for fulltime paid staff in larger churches is 6.7 years, according to a research project fielded by Leadership Network. This average is longer than in most occupations, whether the public or the private sector, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

This and other helpful insights come from a short, richly illustrated report titled, “Inside Job: Large Church HR Directors Offer Unique Perspectives on Their Work,” by Warren Bird, brought to you by MAG Bookkeeping. The information comes from a 2016 Leadership Network survey.

Other issues researched by Leadership Network and featured in the report include:

  • whether bigger churches have higher or lower staff turnover rates,
  • the kinds of churches where staff tend to be younger,
  • how long the typical staff search takes,
  • what percent of staff are hired internally,
  • and the best sources for finding new staff.

The report is a free download available here:


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Warren Bird

Author Warren Bird

Warren Bird, Ph.D. has been named a Leadership Network Senior Fellow in light of his exemplary service 2006-2018 as Director of Research and Intellectual Capital Development at Leadership Network. He serves as full-time VP of Research for ECFA.org (Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability). An ordained minister with background as both a pastor and seminary professor, Warren is an award-winning author or co-author of 31 books for ministry leaders including Hero Maker with Dave Ferguson, How to Break Church Growth Barriers with Carl George, and Next: Pastoral Succession that Works with William Vanderbloemen. Other recent titles are Better Together: Making Church Mergers Work with Jim Tomberlin, and Wisdom from Lyle E. Schaller. Some of Warren’s recent online reports include "Leadership Network/Generis Multisite Church Scorecard," and "The Heartbeat of Rising Influence Churches." See also research reports at leadnet.org/megachurchleadnet.org/salary and leadnet.org/portable. He is widely recognized as one of the nation's leading researchers of megachurches, multisite churches, large church compensation and high-visibility pastoral succession. He also oversees the world's only active, sortable list of global megachurches. Follow him on Twitter @warrenbird.  Click here to subscribe to Leadership Network Advance to get updates from Leadership Network.

More posts by Warren Bird

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