8 Keys to Effective Church Management

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

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.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?

If you are interested in learning more about managing employee performance, check out our new on-line Employee Performance Management class.  For only $97 this is an inexpensive way to train you or your managers and we offer a money back guarantee so you have nothing to lose.  Use coupon code smart20 to get 20% off.  Click here to learn more!  

photo by:  NicholasTonelli


  1. Abner C. Trinidad says

    The article is an effective tool in church management. I highly appreciate it and realized that it is certainly applicable to our church. However, if you have other articles related to effective church management, kindly send me a copy trough my email. thanks a lot. As of present, I one of the church board members.

    • Patricia says

      Hello Abner. I have just authored my first book on Church Management that is a church leader’s handbook on running the day-to-day operation of a church. With easy to understand examples, this book provides a simplistic approach to managing church resources – people, time and money. Whether it is setting church goals, making budget decisions or managing church personnel or volunteers, this book offers practical application, tips, tools, real life examples and it is available on Kindle at http://www.amazon.com/Smart-Church-Management-Administration-ebook/dp/B007R5EGRE/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1335622055&sr=8-1. This is a digital book and will be available in hard-copy on Amazon in the next couple of weeks. If there are other questions I can answer for you please let me know!


  2. T.M.M. says

    I agree with so much in this article about managing church work, however, Biblically, God did not give the management of the church to a Board or group of deacons or anyone else for that matter. His design was to be the Chief Shepherd over Under Shepherds also called pastors, elders, and bishops in the New Testament. So many churches have been ruined because of this practice because people wanted their 2 cents to mean more than the leadership of God’s man.

    While the pastor should be accountable for seeing all of these needs and duties of the church including the management met, he is under the authority of God. He is given the responsibility to delegate church needs to others within the New Testament, the care of the widows to the deacons, the other people that are members of the church have specific gifts and talents that God has provided for the work of the church to be met.

    I think we have to consider that God’s ways are higher than the institutions we choose to believe will better run a true church of God. God’s church is unlike any other organization because it, like the family, was created by Him for His purposes.

    We understand that man at times makes choices that are wrong for the management and care of the people of God in His care, and there are specific times in which this must be taken care of by the deacons of the church through what is called.

    True Biblical study should lead you to the answer of a specific leader of the church, not a board or group of people. If you truly desire to help churches where they are at, you have to understand the Biblical basis and practices they adhere to and how they are different. Other than that one part, I believe you have a good article that is beneficial to helping churches, pastors, and church leaders.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *