Can a hybrid church model prevent ministry burnout?

August 26, 2022

Leadership burnout is affecting pastors and church leaders around the world. While it’s difficult to know exactly how many pastors quit each month, Barna reports the number of pastors who have actively considered leaving full-time ministry jumped from 30% in 2017 to 42% in 2022.

Churches with burnt out staff and volunteers face high turnover rates. People who have lost the joy and fulfillment they previously received from ministering are more likely to suffer from anxiety, exhaustion, and depression. This environment can negatively affect the work of a church and limit their ability to fulfill their mission.

The number one contributor to pastor burnout is stress. This stress is attributed to working long hours, juggling multiple responsibilities, and caring for so many people.

Fortunately, many church leaders are discovering that adopting a hybrid model of ministry can offer relief, direction, and hope by taking some of the stress out of ministry. Before we take a deeper look at how this works, let’s first explore the ins and outs of hybrid ministry.

What is a hybrid church or ministry?

A “hybrid church” or “hybrid ministry” is the blending together of your church’s online and in-person services to create a cohesive church experience for everyone—whether they’re tuning in online or there in person.

When done right, a hybrid church model optimizes your digital and physical resources to complement each other, providing deeper engagement all week long to guide your people along their discipleship journeys.

How a hybrid ministry can help prevent leadership burnout

Like most of us, one of a pastor’s most precious assets is their time. However, time is something that seems to be quickly stolen by using inefficient processes and outdated systems.

A hybrid ministry harnesses the power of technology, creates a community where people are engaged, and allows pastors to do more with less. Let’s take a look at six stress factors that hybrid ministries help relieve so pastors get more time to focus on what’s important, reignite their passion for ministry, and keep moving forward.


Pastors are under pressure to reach new people to bring into church. Studies have shown that potential visitors first visit a church’s website before ever attending in person.

Think of your church’s website as your digital front door—it lets people know more about your ministry, leadership team, and church culture before ever visiting your building. By offering both printed and online connection cards, people can easily submit first time visitor information, prayer requests, or sign up for small groups.

Live streaming your worship services is another great way to reach people, help them connect with your church, and encourage them to attend in person. Today’s technology makes it easier than ever to broadcast live sermons to your church’s website, mobile app, and social media channels to reach the widest audience possible.


People who can’t attend in person are eager to participate and feel connected to your church community. Here are some engagement tools you can use on your website and mobile church app to create deeper engagement.

  • Media: Put your sermons, teachings, podcasts, and other media on your church website and mobile app to allow new people to experience your services online and your current members to stay current if they miss a service.
  • Live stream chat: People watching your church’s live stream can chat directly within your Subsplash mobile app or website and have meaningful conversations. It also provides opportunities for your staff to answer questions, moderate conversations, and provide encouragement.
  • Messaging: Whether it’s planning an event, coordinating small groups, or sharing prayer requests, church messaging tools allow your people to communicate with each other all week long within your mobile app and online.
  • Event calendars: The best church websites integrate with powerful event management software to schedule and promote your events. Share upcoming events to encourage your online audience to attend in person.


Pastors know the challenges of depending on the generosity of others in order to keep church operations going and their mission on track. A decline in tithes and offerings can quickly create a lot of stress for church leadership.

Hybrid churches encourage generosity by offering online giving through their websites, giving apps, and text-to-give. This makes it as simple and convenient as possible for their community to give their tithes and offerings whether attending in person or online.

Special features like recurring giving allow donors to schedule their tithes and gifts ahead of time, as well as help church leaders more accurately plan their budgets. Pastors can easily see incoming donations through their dashboard and rest assured that their church finance data is accurate.


63% of pastors say that disciple making is the number one skill they need to develop. According to Scott McConnell from Lifeway Research, “Making disciples doesn’t happen by itself. It requires personally investing in others and encouraging their walk with the Lord.”

In other words, disciple making takes time, practical resources, and personal involvement. Pastors and their congregants often have very full schedules, and trying to find time to meet and disciple people one-on-one can be difficult.

Hybrid churches help pastors with this process by offering digital discipleship resources within their custom mobile app and website.  For example, Subsplash provides powerful discipleship content from groups like Ligonier Ministries, Bible Project, The Chosen, and so on. Pastors that use these and other digital discipleship tools such as Bible reading plans, devotionals, podcasts, blogs, etc., can watch their people grow more mature as they engage with spiritual formation content both in person as well as online throughout the week.


Part of the discipleship process is learning to serve within a church community. This is why pastors often spend a lot of time managing volunteers. Without the right tools, this can be a big distraction for pastors.

Hybrid churches take advantage of powerful volunteer management tools such as:

  • Volunteer management: Find members with unique gifts and talents, such as musicians or teachers, and match them with a ministry opportunity.
  • Service planning: Quickly plan your services and roster volunteers when and where they’re needed most.
  • Event management: Plan, promote, and even track attendance of your church’s events.
  • Child check-in. Parents can safely and quickly check their children in and out of Sunday school, VBS, and more.

When church leaders provide their volunteers with the right tools like these, their people are happier, more productive, and stay around longer.


Pastors spend a lot of time getting to know their people. However, asking people to fill in printed visitor cards, collecting them, and then trying to read their handwriting to capture their data is time consuming. Similarly, trying to manage emails and keep everyone’s contact information updated can be very frustrating.

With a powerful church management software (ChMS), you can quickly gather people’s information and get to know everyone attending online and in person. For example, if a new visitor watches a live stream service, they can create a user profile when they participate in your live stream chat, make a donation, or submit a prayer request. That information creates a contact profile in your ChMS. Your team can easily follow up with them after the service to help them get connected with a small group or staff person.

The church management software allows users to update their own information, which automatically updates their online giving and volunteer profiles as well. They can also add family members and even create a pin number for additional safety when checking in or picking up their children. Your team always has up-to-date information, can see who is attending, and customize communications so the right people receive the right messages.

The right tools pastors need to thrive

As a pastor, you know that ministry can be very fulfilling. You’ve invested time and energy into studying scripture, learning how to preach, developing your counseling skills, and becoming the best pastor you can be. You shouldn’t need to become a technology expert in order to take advantage of the latest powerful digital tools to reach more people, engage them, and build better disciples.

Subsplash partners with tens of thousands of pastors like you to reach, engage, and disciple millions of people with gospel-centered content around the world each year. Some tech companies promise a lot, but after signing up, pastors feel abandoned, confused, and left on their own to figure things out. Subsplash provides each church with a dedicated Client Success Manager to walk them through every step of the process of using these tools.

Subsplash One is the only all-in-one solution for pastors and leaders that is built for discipleship. We do this by creating real engagement through custom mobile apps, church websites, media hosting and delivery, live streaming, group messaging, ChMS, and so much more!

To discover how the right tools can revitalize your ministry and give you back more time, fill out the form below to schedule your demo.


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