Here’s How Many Volunteers Your Ministry Needs

Here's How Many Volunteers Your Ministry Needs

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 need 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.

This article originally appeared here.

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Dale Hudson
Dale Hudson has been serving in children's ministry for over 28 years. He is an author, speaker and ministry leader.  He is the founder and director of Building Children's Ministry. BCM helps churches build strong leaders, teams and children's ministries.  (

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