Effective church management is the appropriate administration of church resources. There is sometimes resistance to labeling church management as a business function, but whenever there are people and money involved, there needs to be structured business practices to ensure resources are managed and used appropriately.
Churches are unique in that they rely on donations from members and have a responsibility to be good stewards with those resources. The ability to manage church resources effectively depends on the ministry’s process of overseeing church operations.
8 Keys to Effective Church Management
1. Church Board Governance
Because churches are 501(c)(3) organizations, they are required to be governed by a board-of-directors.
The board is obligated to oversee the operations of the ministry and is responsible for the proper management of church resources.
Effective board governance lays the groundwork for efficient church management by directing and holding church administrators accountable for proper administration of resources.
This includes oversight of ministry budget, capital expenditures, legal compliance and managing the risk of church operations.
Effective boards are diverse in membership and have representatives from business or legal backgrounds to ensure a broad perspective and proper documentation of board documents.
2. Church Strategy
Effective church growth is a result of well thought out church strategy and planning. Churches should go through the process of vision, mission and values development and strategic plan development. Planning allows the organization to set performance targets and helps to map out steps to fulfill its mission and purpose.
3. Church Goal Setting
Implementation of church strategy is dependent on how well goals are set and accomplished. Goal setting can be a time consuming process but once SMART goals are developed, a good performance management process can help ensure focus and timely completion of church goals that support its mission.
4. Budgeting Process
Churches have limited resources so having a structured budgeting process to identify expenditure needs and prioritizing church spending is critical. Saving for the new building or land acquisition is an important part of sound budgeting as well as ensuring needed resources are available for the unexpected building or campus repairs.
5. Performance Management
Strategy and goal completion is only as effective as the process that manages it. A structured process to monitor goal completion can help strategic implementation and holding people accountable is what performance management is about. Whether it is church employees, volunteers or a sub-committee of the board – completing goals, as written, on time is critical to church strategy and mission fulfillment.
6. Facilities Management
Visitors and congregants like to gather in an atmosphere that is clean, maintained and aesthetically appealing so whether a church rents temporary building space or has a full-blown campus, managing the upkeep and maintenance of ministry facilities is important. Buildings need to be cleaned, maintained, updated and repaired so having a scheduled routine maintenance plan is important to keeping a comfortable and appealing church environment.
7. Volunteer Support
Churches rely heavily on volunteer labor and need a structured volunteer management process to help recruit, place, train and oversee volunteer help. Volunteers off-set labor costs so providing a customer-friendly volunteer experience is an important part of growing an efficient and effective volunteer program.
8. Legal and Risk Management
Churches need to manage their risks and be legally compliant with governing laws. Understanding ministry risks and being proactive in minimizing exposure is what good church management is about. Campus safety and volunteer screening are examples of church related risks.
Whether a church has a congregation of 100 or 10,000, effective church management is important to ensuring good stewardship of the resources God supplies. Setting the direction by developing strategy, goal development and strong performance management can go a long way in helping a church achieve all that God has called it to.
How effective is your church management?
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photo by: NicholasTonelli