Order in God’s House: 8 Keys to Effective Church Management

Order in God’s House: 8 Keys to Effective Church Management

If you’re running a church, you know that responsibility includes a lot of moving parts. From music to pastoral care, there is a lot to keep track of. And creating a functioning and thriving house of worship requires knowing how to manage a church.

Curious to learn more? Keep reading to learn 8 keys to effective church management!

1. Set Goals

When it comes to effective church management, setting goals is a good first step. Are you hoping to grow your congregation or take care of some repairs? What are your priorities?

Map out a handful of goals, and ask for feedback from a trusted group that’s invested in the church. This could include pastors, other staff members, or board members. You want to ensure that everyone is on the same page about what your immediate and long-term plans look like.

2. Appoint the Right People for the Job

If you’re hoping to meet some lofty goals, it’s vital that you have the right people leading the effort. You need a lead pastor who excels at interacting with people and encouraging participation. And you need additional clergy members with the gifts to work with specific populations in your church.

Find a range of people to handle specific tasks, and delegate responsibilities evenly. No one wants to shoulder the entire burden, after all. You’ll find more success if you assign people to roles that align with their specific skills.

3. Know Your Budget and Stick With It

Another critical early step is establishing a budget. It’s easy to dream a little too big from a financial standpoint, so be realistic about what you can spend. Look at salaries, travel expenses, material costs, and other items — and look into ways to trim your bottom line.

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Also consider things like capital expenses, which include building and maintenance costs. Do you need to redo your roof in the coming year? Make a note of annual or anticipated expenses so you can reserve funds for these purposes.

4. Invest in the Right Church Management Software

Church management software can be a lifesaver when you’re trying to balance so many things. From providing virtual tithing methods to tracking attendance, the right church management system will provide the metrics you need to be successful.

Using software like the packages offered by iconcmo.com can help you stay on top of things. You can create profiles about your congregation members, put together tax documents, and create easy methods of giving. Ultimately, you’ll gain the data you need to be more efficient with your time.

5. Understand Your Church Population

Are you a church in a small town or are you a church in an urban center? The type of people you serve will inform the kinds of decisions you make. And knowing how to manage a small church presents a set of considerations that is unique from those that a bigger church must confront.

Create small groups and volunteer opportunities to make a big church feel more intimate. Or find outreach opportunities to help a smaller church feel more connected to the larger community. When in doubt, ask your congregants for ideas to see what they think would be beneficial to the life of the church.

6. Don’t Be Afraid to Adapt

The reality in front of you can differ from the goals you set out to achieve. And sometimes you need to be flexible and adapt to those changes. The best church leaders know that when it comes to an effective church management system, flexibility is key.

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If you don’t meet a fundraising goal, take some time to review the issues that led to the problem. Find ways to improve your marketing, outreach, or event planning to ensure that you meet it the next time.

7. Church Management Involves Recruiting and Retaining Volunteers

You’ll also need a stable of reliable and eager volunteers on hand. Recruiting volunteers can be a big undertaking, but it’s essential for a functioning church. It also helps your congregants feel involved — and it may result in increased participation.

You may need people who are willing to lead educational classes for kids or adults, or people willing to lend their culinary skills to group functions. If you’re in a smaller church, you may want people with carpentry skills to help with maintenance issues. Reach out to your congregation members to find out what their volunteer gifts are, and assemble rosters of people for different tasks.

8. Keep Everyone Accountable

It’s also important to check on your progress. When you’ve set goals, you need to set monthly or quarterly meetings to ensure that you’re on the right track. It may be advisable to create smaller committees or workgroups, too, to keep the communication going.

Keep all decisions and updates in writing. Assign a note-taker for every committee so you can track progress toward outcomes. Compile all of those notes and ask for monthly or quarterly updates from committees so you can manage how everything is contributing to the bigger picture.

And if one person or group is not meeting goals, speak with them privately and give them the tools and encouragement to improve. For all members of your team, set deadlines to reinforce the sense of accountability.

Help Your Church Grow and Thrive

Implementing an effective church management plan is key to growing your church. Your congregation will benefit from a church that is organized, forward-thinking, and responsible. If you can keep everything and everyone in check, then you can build a house of worship that makes an impact in your community.

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