Turnover is one of the biggest obstacles to creating a healthy church or ministry. While a longer tenure does not guarantee church health, a revolving door of staff members is typically unhealthy.
The average tenure of a staff member is between three and four years. When you consider that the average cost for replacing a staff person is 20 to 22 percent the amount of their salary, this can quickly become a serious financial issue. However, actual cost is just one repercussion of turnover. The ‘hidden costs’ can be just as detrimental.
The hidden cost of church staff turnover
Here are a few other ways staff turnover can affect your ministry beyond the hard costs:
- A lack of trust in leadership. Your church staff won’t always look the way it does now. People will move for a variety of reasons. However, a constantly revolving door of staff members can start to erode the trust level of your church members.
- The inability to maintain a constant focus on mission. Think about how long it took you to find your rhythm in your current ministry role. There’s no way your church can fulfill your vision when leaders leave around the time they start finding their groove.
- Losing church members because of instability. It takes time for church members to build relationships with new staff members. Don’t expect every church member to stick around when there’s consistent turnover.
- The cost to onboard new staff. Assimilating a new staff member onto your team takes time, energy, and focus away from other areas of your ministry.
- Additional burnout for other team members. When someone leaves, it immediately creates an additional burden on other staff members. The more frequently this happens, the more distracting it can be. Distraction leads to a lack of focus, which leads to subpar performance, which leads to failure.
If you want to learn how you can protect your ministry by reducing staff turnover, I’d definitely encourage you to check out this free resource we created with my friend Deborah Ike. In it, you’ll learn how to proactively protect your church from risks like turnover that could damage your ministry potential.
What are some ways you work to prevent a high ministry turnover rate in your church?