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youth ministry, student ministry, youth ministry numbers

Confusing Size with Capacity

By Doug Franklin October 15, 2013

Often youth workers get size and capacity mixed up. We think the size of our youth ministry is how many students come each week. A few of us think it’s the number of students in our database. The size of our youth ministry doesn’t matter, in fact it’s useless information because the size says nothing about impact.

Capacity on the other hand is the real stat to monitor. The capacity of a youth ministry is how many mature adults are in transformational relationships with students. I think that each adult can only have this kind of relationship with about 3-5 students at a time (on the high end). So to figure out the capacity of your youth ministry, multiply the number of transformational adults by 4 and you should have the capacity of your youth ministry. If this number is lower than your average weekly attendance then you need more effective adults in relationship with students. If your number is higher than your weekly attendance, increase the number of outreach events your group has because you can serve more students.


About the Author

Doug Franklin

Doug Franklin is the president of LeaderTreks, an innovative leadership development organization focusing on students and youth workers. Doug and his wife, Angie, live in West Chicago, Illinois. They don’t have any kids, but they have 2 dogs that think they are children. Diesel and Penelope are Weimaraners  who never leave their side. Doug grew up in…  Read More