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Percentage of participation in churches

If any of you who are involved in church programs could respond to me, ether privately, or in the forum, with the percentage of members attending any particular service that are participating in the special music (i.e., as choir members, bell groups, orchestra members or soloists), I would be very appreciative.  I think I recall seeing something a while back that indicated somewhere between 2%-8% was the norm, and that smaller churches often had a higher percentage of participating than larger churches.
As an example, we have an average attendance of 125 at our second service, where all of the special music takes place, and an average of 22 participants in special music most Sundays, with as many as 40 or more on special Sundays or services such as Christmas Eve.  So our percentage of participation is in the range of 17-18% most Sundays, and as high as 30% on special Sundays or other special services.  I think we are rare, but I would like to know for certain.
Replies (7): Threaded | Chronological
on January 7, 2010 3:55am
Hi Nan: I am curious about why you want to know these numbers. One of my churches (very rural Ontario), the congregation is quite small in the winter months 20-30 and much larger in the summer 75-100. The choir 18-25 . .The second church in town with a congregation of 75 -100 and a choir of 15.
Melissa Stephens,
Haliburton, Ontario
on January 7, 2010 9:46am
Nan I think you a a rarity. We have a weekend attendance of 1300 for 5 Masses, and the regular numbers involved with the music is around 50, rising to 80 for Christmas, when the 4-day attendance was over 4,000. 
on January 7, 2010 10:13am
We have about 100 in attendance at our "traditional" service (the only service with a choir), and just received into the choir our 26th member. Our pianist isn't a choir member but since you're counting participants, I guess we have 27. The Jr. Choir (children) sing occasionally, adding 7 more on those Sundays or special services. So we can go up to 34, but usually, 26-27 people.
on January 8, 2010 9:08am
 I am serving my church in a time of transition and none of the staff positions are guaranteed to follow our congregation into the future.  I'm trying to get a clear and accurate picture of what our music program looks like in the larger church community, so that if I am questioned on any points, I can have an adequate response.  From all of the responses received thus far, it would appear that we are more normal than I had suspected.
on January 8, 2010 7:43am
At Mt. Olive Lutheran we have averaged 40 people at the 11 AM classical worship service. I am pleased to report that there were 49 present Jan. 3. 
The adult choir sings with 5 to 9 members.  5 out of 40 is only 1/8 or 12.5%, but  8 out of 40 or 9 out of 45 is 1/5, or 20%!
The children's choir varies from 2 to 5, with a usual attendance of 4.  That would be 10% of the regular Sunday attendance.
The adults sing the 2nd and 4th Sundays of the month; the children sing the 1st and 3rd Sundays, except on New Year's weekend.
Good luck to you!
Pat Maimone
Organist-Choir Director
11 AM Classical Worship Service
Mt. Olive Lutheran Church
Santa Monica, CA 90405
on January 8, 2010 6:15pm
Hi Nan,
We have average attendance of about 100 at our service on most Sundays. We have about 150 on special services such as the Christmas Cantata, Christmas Eve, and Easter. Our choir remains at about 15. However, we have 4 paid singers in our choir. With the inclusion of our handbells, I believe we fall somewhere between 10-15% participation in our music program.
Hope this helps!
Justin West
Director of Music
First Christian Church (DOC)
Beaumont, TX
on January 9, 2010 4:48am
At my church we average about 300-350 per Sunday, and our music participants number (excepting snow storms and such) anywhere from around 35 minimum to upwards of 65, putting us in the roughly 10 to 20% range, depending on which music groups are participating.

Malcolm Halliday
Shrewsbury, MA

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