Written by Bill Whitt
June 11, 2024

Trends in Staffing Relevant for Church Renewal

In many churches, staff members play a crucial role in accomplishing the mission. The investments we make in the health of our staff will have huge benefits.

In many churches, staff members play a crucial role in accomplishing the mission. They are seeing and solving problems. They are working in the trenches of ministry day after day.

  • The investments we make in the health of our church staff members will have huge benefits. If you find it tricky, though, you are not alone! The Q2 2024 Unstuck Church Report offers great insights into the challenges church leaders are facing today.

Because church renewal efforts often require wisdom in this area, this is an important report to digest. Below are five of the most relevant findings for those who work in church renewal.

Five Recent Findings about Church Staffing
  1.  Turnover is Higher Among Younger Staff Members
  • While the median tenure of 55- to 64-year-old staff members was close to 10 years, the tenure of 25- to 34-year-olds is about 3 years. If you have a younger staff, you can expect to be hiring more frequently.
  • Together, we need to do the hard work to discover if there is anything we can do to retain younger workers longer.
  1. Younger Workers are Underrepresented on church staffs
  • While it is true that younger workers present unique challenges, they are worth the investment. Tony Morgan wrote that it is “difficult to reach younger adults if you don’t have younger staff shaping ministry strategy and environments.”
  • Many know this is true, and yet Boomers are overrepresented on church staffs, and Gen Z is underrepresented. This trend is the most extreme in smaller churches.
  1.  Staff Restructuring is the new norm
  • More than half of the churches surveyed had been through a staff restructuring within the past two years. Among larger churches, the trend was even stronger, with 7 in 10 reporting a recent restructuring.
  • Tony Morgan says healthy churches are willing to adjust their structure to accommodate changing strategies and priorities. “If you’re thinking, ‘We need a structure change, but we just did that a few years ago,’ don’t let that hold you back.”
  1.  Clarity is Key
  • When staff turnover is high and frequent restructuring is the norm, it is easy for staff members to experience a lack of clarity around roles and responsibilities. Some may not know what their “lane” is.
  • Many churches surveyed reported experiencing organizational hurdles that impaired their impact. Offering clarity around roles, responsibilities, and reporting structures is a gift you can give to your team.
  1. Hiring is Hard
  • Finding qualified staff is harder than ever, especially when churches have to compete with the open market for talented individuals. The high cost of housing is straining churches’ abilities to pay the wages employees are seeking.
  • Half of senior pastors surveyed said they are empowered to hire and fire staff without board approval. This trend is twice as strong among large churches. They say this allows them to fully own the health and performance of their team.

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