Jul 26, 2017

Here's How Many Volunteers Your Ministry Should Have

Children's ministry is made possible by volunteers.   The success of your children's ministry rises and falls on the strength of your volunteer team. 

I am often asked how many volunteers should a ministry have?  To operate at the optimal level, here's how many volunteers you should have in the rooms or environments.  This does not include greeters, check-in team, etc.

Infants - 1 volunteer for every 2 children (minimum - ideally 1 volunteer for every 1 child

Crawlers - 1 volunteer for every 3 children

Toddlers - 1 volunteer for every 4 children

2-year-olds - 1 volunteer for every 4 children

3-year-olds - 1 volunteer for every 8 children

4-year-olds - 1 volunteer for every 8 children

5-year-olds thru 5th grade - 1 volunteer for every 10 children (minimum - ideally 1 volunteer for every 8 children)

Monitor your numbers carefully and strive to reach these ratios.  The younger the children are, the more critical it is to meet these ratios for safety reasons.  This should be a top priority.  Parents who walk into a nursery that is not meeting these ratios are far less likely to return. Some churches even hire people to work in their nurseries to ensure ratios are met.  I have never done this, but if you choose to do so, it is definitely money well invested.

The primary reason you want to have these ratios for older children is because of the relationship factor.  These ratios help ensure that kids are personally known by a caring volunteer.  When you get above these ratios it can turn into crowd control rather than discipleship happening. 

If you aren't currently at these ratios, don't be discouraged.  Keep building your team.  You will always needs more volunteers, especially if you are growing and reaching new families.  You can also get key insight about building a dynamic volunteer team in my book - "The Formula for Building a Great Volunteer Team."  In this book, I share the steps I took to build a volunteer of over 2,600 in a local church.  You can get the book in paperback or ebook formats at this link

Volunteers is one of, if not the most important, aspects of your ministry.  Focus on it and you'll see your ministry flourish.

3 comments:

We were asked to take over the Children's Ministry Director/Overseer position in our church. We are a small-med size church and have a small volunteer team. I would like to pick a good book that we could read as a team and discuss in our team meetings. Anything you recommend to get us started?

Congrats on your new role in your church. Here are two books I recommend. https://www.buildingchildrensministry.com/resources-1/BOOKS-c22571175

I'm sure you cover it elsewhere on the site, but I am surprised that you don't list the safety expectations of at least 2 unrelated adults in each room. We are a small kids ministry, sometimes having only 1 kid in a class, but 2 adults ensure safety. Thank you for the great resources!

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