Effective church management is the appropriate administration of church resources. Some are resistant to labeling church management as a business function. However, whenever there are people and money involved, there needs to be structured business practices to ensure resources are managed 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
Most churches are organized as a 501(c)(3) organization. This means they have a legal requirement 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 leaders accountable for proper oversight 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
Church growth is a result of well thought out church strategy and planning.
This structured planning process allows the organization to set performance targets and lays out the 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 need a structured budgeting process to identify expenditure requirements and prioritization of church spending.
A budget provides the necessary resources for day-to-day operations, church programs and the unexpected building or campus repairs. In addition, saving for the new building or land acquisition is also an important part of the budgeting process.
5. Managing Performance
Strategy and goal completion is only as effective as the process that manages it. A structured process to monitor goal completion holds people accountable and supports implementation of strategy.
Whether it is church employees, volunteers or a sub-committee of the board – completing goals, as written, on time is crucial to a church’s ability to achieve it mission.
6. Facilities Management
Visitors and members like to gather in an atmosphere that is clean, maintained and aesthetically appealing. Consequently, 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, and repaired. Create a scheduled maintenance plan to maintain 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. Provide a customer-friendly volunteer experience to ensure an efficient and effective volunteer program.
8. Legal and Risk Management
Churches need to manage their risks and be legally compliant with governing laws. A ministry needs to understand its risks and be proactive in minimizing exposure. 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 can go a long way in helping a church achieve all that God has called it to.
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