What Makes a Healthy Church?

Mar 01, 2024

This month, we are looking at what separates healthy churches from unhealthy churches—the ability to adapt.

Three examples of this are:

  1. Staffing
  2. Giving Too Much Away
  3. Systems

Let's dig into these together. 



As church sizes shift, staffing sizes should shift as well. When churches increase attendance, they should add appropriate staff. That said; I’ve never seen a church be hesitant or slow in the hiring process. On the other hand, when attendance decreases in a church, churches can be very slow to make minor shifts to their staff positions.

In the face of declining attendance, churches often struggle to make the challenging decisions to adapt, such as pausing new hires during turnover in positions. This just further exacerbates the problem.

If the church continues on the trend of decreasing attendance, it will eventually get into a position where it will be forced to make drastic changes because its cash flow can't support its operations as-is. These drastic changes can include things like spending freezes and layoffs.

Churches demonstrating a proactive willingness to adapt and make incremental changes in response to evolving trends generally steer clear of drastic measures. This approach helps maintain high employee confidence and morale, effectively mitigating the risk of disruption within their staff and congregation. 

Our Staff to Attendee Ratios Calculator can help you determine how many staff you need for your church based on your average weekly attendance.


Giving Too Much Away

While this may be an unpopular opinion, we believe the amount local churches give to outreach/missions should make sense in the wider scope of your budget. Many churches are willing to adapt and make shifts to operational budgets and ministry budgets if finances get tight, but wear it as a badge of honor if they hold true to giving away the same X thousands of dollars to other ministries in the name of outreach, missions or whatever name you put on it.

I personally believe this approach puts your church at a significant disadvantage. Don’t get me wrong, many of these organizations do incredible things; however, many churches are funding external ministries who have their own multi-million dollar budgets (eg. The Salvation Army, United Way, World Vison, etc.) more than they are funding their internal ministries such as children’s ministry whom they see and do life with each and every week.

Want to see if that's you? See how much you're sending to outreach/local/global ministries/missions and compare it to what you're spending on your own ministries.

If you are that church: adapt.

You must first put the oxygen mask on your own ministries, so they can eventually support other ministries out of the overflow of their own spiritual health.



We’ve been talking about adapting as we see trends occurring within our churches but that’s only possible if you have systems that provide real-time information that indicates where you are headed.

Your accounting software is the lead-indicating tool on where you are headed financially.

If your accounting software, along with your accountant or CFO, fails to provide precise, up-to-date, and timely (weekly) reports on your comprehensive financial status, you’ll find it challenging to grasp the current scenario, let alone implement the necessary adjustments. 

Don’t let your systems (or your gatekeepers who run that software) prevent you from knowing where you stand and adapting for the health and longevity of the church.



Have any questions or thoughts?

We’d be honored to serve your church. Book a free consultation call here, or email Jeff directly!


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