Getting Started in Church Administration
Church administration is a science, an art, and a gift. Church administration is a science because it involves procedures, processes, and techniques that provide the organizational structure for ministry. As an art it involves sensitivity to people gifts, needs, situations, and timing. Finally, the apostle Paul also defines administration as a spiritual gift in I Corinthians 12:28. Therefore, as a church administrator you are called to show the love of Jesus in many ways in your work in the church. Your major responsibility is to assist the church in the managing of personal and organizational resources.
As you start your role, you are called to first understand the current situation and develop relationships with those involved in areas of ministry where you will be serving. You must be a good listener, be genuine, and show that you care about the ministry. Second it is important for you to have clear expectations through a job description and regular communication with a supervisor. If you are a first time church administrator, the job description may need to be more clearly defined in the future as the shape of the position becomes clearer. Finally, you will develop some strategies for enhancing the work of the church. The unveiling of these strategies will involve strong people skills as you present your thoughts and ideas in ways that are not intimidating and top-down but clearly focused on spiritually growing the work of the church.
Most church administrators are responsible for areas of ministry such as communication, finance, personnel, and facility. As you develop relationships with the people already serving in these ministry areas, you will start to understand the dreams of the congregation and where the team may need assistance in fulfilling these dreams. Your style of presenting ideas among the members involved in a ministry must always be with a love for the congregation. Are you able to assist in making ministry happen? How can you help to make their volunteer time at a meeting meaningful? People enjoy participating in a group where they can give ideas and get needs met also. You are there to equip them to serve and many times this involves coordinating, organizing and communicating with the group on a regular basis, not just at meeting time.
You are there to motivate and help members discover and use their spiritual gifts for ministry. It is important to always serve with others on a team, whether it is facility, newsletter, finance, or facility. This allows for engaging the congregational members in the leadership of the church and the decisions are approved by a group rather than one person becoming the “powerhouse” or “fall guy.” Remember, you are there to enhance the ministry of the church, not to run it. You want ideas to flow from the members and involve them in the thought processes and decisions. Many times you are working with council members who are the leaders of the church. Empower them to do their ministries.
How do you empower the leaders in their ministries? Check out the Church Administration and Financial Resources available on the CRCNA website. Also, you can find samples of forms and policies and a host of other resources under Church Finance and Administration Tools.
These processes of coordinating, organizing, and team building should help develop a structure for ministry work that combines people and administrative processes together so they work harmoniously. The dreams and plans determine the organization you need, not the other way around. God bless you as you serve others.