From the Worldwide Faith News archives www.wfn.org
Presbyterians Are Active Volunteers, Panel Finds
04 May 1996 20:36:39
95453 Presbyterians Are Active Volunteers, Panel Finds
by Jerry L. Van Marter
LOUISVILLE, Ky.--More than three-fourths of all Presbyterians do volunteer
work in their congregations, according to the November 1994 "Presbyterian
Panel," a survey of pastors, specialized ministers, elders and church
members conducted by the Research Services office of the Presbyterian
The survey found that Presbyterians who volunteer in their
congregations are also likely to be involved in community service volunteer
work. More than two-thirds of the panel respondents so indicated.
Volunteerism is so pervasive among Presbyterians that only 15 percent
of members, three percent of elders, five percent of pastors and 11 percent
of specialized clergy reported that they are not involved in either
community or congregational volunteer work.
The survey found that Presbyterians of different ages are equally
likely to be involved in volunteer work. There is no significant
difference among young adults, middle-aged adults and older adults in their
rates of volunteerism.
But despite the high rate of volunteerism in congregations, most
panelists reported that their congregations do not have volunteer
coordinators or directors of lay ministries. Only 25 percent of members
and far fewer elders, ministers and specialized clergy reported that their
congregations employ such persons.
The most frequently used methods for recruiting volunteers are
announcements in church bulletins and announcements during church services
(70 percent each). About 50 percent of all respondents reported that
sign-up sheets are usually posted for volunteer opportunities.
Far fewer Presbyterians -- four percent of members, three percent of
elders and 14 percent of ministers and specialized clergy -- have ever
served as mission volunteers. Most of these served in short-term
assignments, with work camps and summer service projects most often
For more information contact Presbyterian News Service
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Louisville, KY 40202
phone 502-569-5504 fax 502-569-8073
E-mail PCUSA.NEWS@pcusa.org Web page: http://www.pcusa.org
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