Empowering leadership in ministry

Four in ten attenders are involved in a leadership role at church

An empowering leadership culture is a core quality of church health identified by NCLS Research. Australian church attenders were asked about their involvement in church leadership and ministry roles in the 2021 NCLS. We learned that 44% of church attenders performed at least one leadership role.

This level of involvement has been consistent over previous waves of the National Church Life Survey.  For example, in 2006, 42% of attenders undertook a leadership or ministry role.

Given the fact that many churches were impacted by COVID-19 pandemic restrictions during the latest NCLS, it is interesting to note that attenders' levels of involvement in ministry leadership remained stable during 2021 and 2022. 

Leadership in worship services (teaching, preaching, music, leading or assisting in the service) was the most common role, with 25% of attenders involved in those ministries.

Some 11% of church attenders led small groups, 9%  were involved in children's or youth leadership roles and 7% served on the church council or as a board member, elder or deacon. Some 18% performed another role.


Leadership and Ministry Roles performed by Attenders
Leadership and Ministry Roles Performed by Attenders All NCLS in 2021
Worship services (teach/preach, music, lead/assist in service) 25
Children's ministry/youth ministry role 9
Small group leadership 11
Administrator role 4
Compliance role (e.g. safe church) 3
Council/board/elder/deacon 7
Committee/task force member 5
Pastoral care/visitation role 8
Communications/news 3
Some other role 18
Perform any of the above leadership/ministry roles here 44

Source: 2021 NCLS Attender Survey, Australian Attenders


Data Sources:

2021 National Church Life Survey, Australian Attenders

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