From the Worldwide Faith News archives

Presbyterians Are Active Volunteers, Panel Finds

Date 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 
Church (U.S.A.). 
     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   Web page: 


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