Are we normal?

At Ministry Architects, we’ve worked with over 1,000 churches, and, inevitably, this is THE most frequently asked question. Based on all that we’ve seen and come to understand about what helps support a sustainable ministry, we’ve developed some norms. These numbers are just a way to compare some numbers from your church with the same numbers in other churches. 

Before taking a closer look, here are a few important notes you will want to keep in mind as you consider where your church lands amongst this data:

  1. These numbers are an average from the churches we have worked with all across the country. Our work with congregations of all shapes and sizes and in a variety of contexts has helped inform our norms. Whether your church is small or large, set in an urban, suburban, or rural setting, homogeneous or diverse, somewhere in this data is a church that looks like you.

  2. These numbers are not a clear indicator of health or sustainability in your ministry but are hoped to serve as a baseline for comparison and a starting place, when considering investing fresh attention to a ministry. If your church falls outside of these norms and you still have a thriving ministry, that’s to be celebrated! And we would suggest there are variables outside these norms that are contributing to that health.

  3. These numbers enable you to have more conversations about your unique needs and circumstances, and make adjustments accordingly. As you look at these numbers, especially the budget numbers, remember that the cost of living varies widely across the country. For example, if you are in New York City, you may not be able to run a ministry on the same budget that a church in Bryan, Texas can. But by looking at these norms and comparing them to your own church’s numbers, you can learn how you compare to the national average and use that information when discussing the distribution of resources in your specific community.

  4. These numbers have lasted through the pandemic – and are applicable to your church right now. Ministry Architects exists to support healthy systems and innovative change for the future of the church. And in a world that’s ever changing, we know how important it is for content and resources to be relevant and useful right here, right now. Including the useful information you’re about to discover.

Children’s Ministry Norms

Youth Ministry Norms

Church-wide Norms