Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Abraham S. Fischler School of Education


Daniel P. Czaplewski

Committee Member

Anita Barrett


best practices, church, employee engagement, employment practices, job satisfaction, volunteers, organizational behavior, management


In the realm of churches, recruiting, engaging, and retaining volunteers is essential for

churches to thrive. This applied dissertation was designed to identify best practices for

recruiting, engaging, and retaining volunteers within a megachurch. Both quantitative and qualitative methods were used to identify those factors that draw people to volunteer, keep them volunteering, and lead to their work satisfaction while they volunteer in a megachurch. The effect of demographics on volunteer satisfaction and engagement were also identified. The final product of this study was a set of best practices for any church to use to improve its volunteer program.

The 2-phased, sequential, explanatory, mixed-methods study was conducted at a large

megachurch in the suburb of a large mid-Atlantic city in the United States. Quantitative

data were collected over a 30-day period online using the Volunteer Satisfaction Index

survey (N = 123) during Phase 1 of the study. A focus group (N = 5) was conducted on a single day and used to collect qualitative data during Phase 2 of the study. The same

population of 900 members of the megachurch was used for each phase of the study.

Analyses of the combined data revealed the success of volunteer programs is contingent upon several key factors; chief among them is the foundation of relationship. Based on these findings, the researcher recommended 7 specific best practices for churches to implement: The organizational leader–volunteer relationship matters, the paid staff–volunteer relationship matters, the volunteer–volunteer relationship matters, volunteer performance expectations matter, recognition matters, effective communication matters, and feeling empowered matters.

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