Multiplication Center

Lean Staff Findings: How Does Your Church Compare?

April 7, 2010

weight-scale Thanks to over 700 churches that responded to our “lean staff” 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 “lean”) 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 they’re “leaner” 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.


Lean-Staff-report-cover Get the 45-slide presentation. Today we released the report pictured at right, for free download here. It’s in PowerPoint style, so it’s visual and easy to follow.

Read a two-page summary: See Matt Branaugh’s “A Closer Look at ‘Lean’ Church Staffs.” He’s editor of Your Church magazine.

Listen to a 12-minute podcast where Matt and I talk about the project, free download here.


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