Ministry Involvement of Church Staff and Volunteers The Role of Organizational Commitment and Work Engagement

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David R Dunaetz Julie Bocock


One of the main functions of church leadership in the New Testament is to help people participate in ministry by serving others. However, church leaders may find it difficult to motivate lay volunteers, and even church staff, to do so. What are the factors that motivate ministry involvement? This paper examines the possible role affective organizational commitment (the degree of emotional attachment to an organization) and work engagement (the degree to which one is immersed in and energized by one’s work) as motivating factors. A study of church members involved in ministry (N =336), including both lay volunteers and paid staff, was conducted to test whether both affective organizational commitment and work engagement predict ministry involvement. The results indicate that both organizational commitment and work engagement contribute to predicting ministry involvement of church staff and lay members. This relationship is true regardless of gender, tenure in the church, or church size. Work engagement is especially important for paid staff compared to lay volunteers. These results indicate that church leaders need to not only encourage commitment, but also to make sure that ministry is engaging for those who are serving.


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How to Cite
Dunaetz, D., & Bocock, J. (2020). Ministry Involvement of Church Staff and Volunteers. Theology of Leadership Journal, 3(1), 51-67. Retrieved from
Author Biographies

David R Dunaetz, Azusa Pacific University

Associate Professor of Leadership and Organizational Psychology, Azusa Pacific University

Julie Bocock, Azusa Pacific University

Julie Bocock's passion is to help lay leaders be engaged in their ministries. She has an M.S. in Organizational Psychology from Azusa Pacific University where she serves in the Business Office.