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8 Principles for Effective Church Administration

by Aplos Success Team
Header graphic for article offering tips for effective church administration

Leadership and administration are necessary for a thriving church. Without them, a church cannot serve people effectively. While a church is not a business, it is ideal for it to operate similarly to be successful. When the church uses business principles to manage its resources, it creates accountability and avoids waste.

This article explores the meaning of church administration, explains why it is vital to the health of your ministry, and offers 8 key ingredients for a productive church administration.

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What Is Church Administration?

The administration at a church sets up and enforces the rules and regulations that help the church operate at its fullest potential. In a way, they are the “government” of the church, and ultimately it is their responsibility to manage finances and do all things necessary to make sure the church is operating efficiently.

The Importance of an Efficient and Successful Administration for Your Church

Similar to a business, a church that is lacking order and accountability is in danger of putting a ministry on the fast track to disarray and poor financial health. In order for a church to flourish, it must have a church administration in place that understands and practices the principles that demonstrate culpability, establish trust, and keep the church on solid financial footing.

Keys to a Streamlined Church Administration

Having organized and responsible church administrators in place is essential for your church to run smoothly. Here are 8 ways to streamline your church administration program:

  1. Create a Strategic Plan for Accomplishing Your Goals

The overall success of your ministry is heavily dependent on the structure and goals that are put in place. Without a plan and a corresponding list of goals for your church, your administrators will be unorganized and lack direction toward your mission. Creating a strategy and laying out goals based on that strategy keeps everyone on the same page and also makes sure that both the church administration and church leaders are headed in the same direction.

  1. Make Sure Board Governance Is in Place

Most churches choose to be seen as a 501(c)(3) organization to receive a tax exemption from the IRS, and one of the requirements in order to do so is board governance. In this situation, the typical role of the board is to hold the church and leaders accountable, assist with the church budget as needed, and assist the staff and volunteers with creating and achieving annual goals.

  1. Establish a Structured Budgeting Process

With this type of budget structure, the philosophy is to strategically prioritize spending to cover the initiatives that support the church’s mission, while setting aside funds for church programs, unexpected repairs to the church building, and day-to-day expenditures.

  1. Choose a Church Administrator to Manage Tasks, Goals, and Strategies

Select someone you trust to follow up with volunteers, staff, and church leaders to make sure tasks related to the goals and mission of the church are being completed on time. While this is often a thankless job, it holds everyone accountable and makes sure everything is moving in the right direction.

  1. Create a Scheduled Maintenance Program

While this may initially sound like an item that should be way down on the priority list, an organized and well-kept ministry goes a long way toward sending a message to church leaders, the congregation, and potential new members that your church is a healthy, well-oiled machine. Nothing conveys a toxic atmosphere more than an environment that is disheveled, dirty, and dated.

Have administrators brainstorm with staff and volunteers to compile a checklist of weekly and monthly tasks that should be checked regularly in order to keep items stocked, areas clean, and structures maintained. Once the list is compiled, distribute these tasks amongst church administrators, staff, and volunteers based on their availability.

  1. Build and Foster a Universal Culture of Support

Talk with members at all levels (church administrators, pastors, employees, volunteers, etc.) to find out their goals and what they need to succeed. Provide whatever resources they require, and be willing to offer additional assistance as needed. Offer small tokens of appreciation for those who routinely go above and beyond their responsibilities.

  1. Make Church Finances a Priority

Whether you are a professional accountant or just a church administrator who is decent at math, keeping church finances in order can be challenging, especially when it comes to larger churches. Don’t be afraid to incorporate an “accounting-by-committee” approach when managing your church’s financial resources and budget.

Parking your ego at the door and bringing in some experienced sets of eyes puts your ministry’s finances first, ensures that the data will be accurate, and takes some of the pressure and stress off of the individual initially responsible for the financial affairs. There are also affordable church management solutions on the market that can save your administrators a lot of time and headaches.

  1. Be Transparent With Your Congregation

Both existing and new members of your church want to feel like their opinion and participation are acknowledged and appreciated, and one of the best ways to convey your gratitude is to keep members in the loop on anything of significance that is related to the church. Many churches are taking advantage of resources like social media, text messaging, email newsletters, blogs, and print media to communicate with church members.

Have your church administration use all the tools at your disposal to update members, general attendees, and volunteers about church programs, upcoming events, your involvement in the community, and positive messages that convey God’s Word and the mission of the church.

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