How church administration builds relationships
Wednesday, March 18, 2015
Church administration tends to have a reputation for being all about tasks, planning and procedures. However, administration really is about developing, maintaining and safeguarding relationships.
When you have a heart for ministry and a talent for administration, it's easy for others to only see the "policy and procedure" side. You're constantly reminding staff members to put their events on the churchwide calendar and plan ahead to reserve facility space. You hold people accountable to deadlines for getting announcements made in service. You're a stickler for POs and proper approvals.
Those are all good things — work that is your valuable and needed contribution to ministry.
There is a delicate balance between needing to complete certain tasks and still understanding your less-administratively-minded team members. Your worship leader may not appreciate the value of a properly completed PO. The youth pastor may not see the need to plan an event months in advance.
Your desire to plan and pay attention to detail may frustrate and alienate them. Their last-minute ideas may drive you nuts. The next time you see this conflict coming, here are a few ways to help others see how your administration efforts support relationships:
1. Planning ahead helps make your event incredible and fun (for everyone)
Having time to plan really means having time to dream and to create the atmosphere and ministry environment they're envisioning. Planning also enables you to sign up volunteers, effectively communicate the event to the congregation and community, and more — all without a lot of last-minute stress.
2. Forms and documentation preserve ministry
From parental consent forms and waivers to purchase orders and approvals, we need to protect the integrity of the church and safeguard our congregation. This isn't meaningless paperwork — these are items that protect children, help us take care of people in an emergency, and demonstrate our commitment to being good stewards of the resources entrusted to us.
3. Processes and procedures reduce confusion
We don't fully appreciate a well-written and communicated procedure until we're frustrated by not knowing how to get something done.
When everyone on the team knows how to get approval to make a purchase or put an event on the calendar, that drives efficiency and reduces frustration. When you have a process for recruiting, training and assigning volunteers, that helps new members get involved and develop great relationships within your church. It also helps your staff breathe a bit easier because they have a great team each service.
Procedures, when well documented and communicated, can even save lives. If there's an emergency and your staff knows exactly what to do, everyone involved will appreciate the attention to detail.
Church administration may not sound relationship-oriented, but the efforts involved in administration can and do support ministry. You may have to explain how administration and relationships are connected, but it's worth taking the time to have that conversation.
In that moment, you’re protecting your relationship with fellow staff members by helping them see how you’re seeking to serve their ministry vision. We have different gifts, but the same goal — to see people come to Christ and to grow in their relationship with Him and His children.
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