What systems do you need?
Tuesday, May 08, 2018
When you work on the back-office aspects of running a church, you tend to manage several different functions. You may have inherited those from your predecessor, or perhaps you initiated them as the need arose.
Whatever the case, occasionally it’s helpful to evaluate what systems you need to have in place versus what you’re already doing.
Here are a few systems to consider improving or implementing:
System No. 1: Accounting Controls
God and the congregation are trusting you with finances to run the church. To perform that function with the utmost integrity, you need to implement checks and balances. Examples include:
- The person who enters new vendors into your accounting software shouldn’t also have access to enter and approve invoices or sign checks.
- At least two people should be present at all times when counting the offering.
- Someone other than someone among those who count the offering should be the person who reconciles the bank statement each month.
- Purchases over a set amount should require more than one signature for approval.
These types of controls help ensure that the church stewards its finances wisely and reduces the risk of potential fraud.
System No. 2: Facilities
If you own your church facilities, there are many maintenance and management tasks necessary to keep it in excellent condition. A few facilities processes include:
- Maintaining a schedule of regular maintenance on HVAC units
- Regular cleaning
- Repairing potholes in the parking lot and cracks in the sidewalk
- Inspecting the roof periodically and after any significant storm
- Repairing or replacing frayed carpet or cracked tiles
- Implementing a system for reserving rooms or the entire facility for various events
System No. 3: Risk Management
No one likes to think anything bad will happen at their church, but it’s wise to consider the possibilities and determine what you can do to lessen the likelihood of something awful happening. Here are several examples of risk management processes to consider:
- Put a security team in place.
- Discuss the church’s insurance coverage with your insurance agent to determine if any updates are necessary.
- Conduct background checks on anyone who will come into contact with children or money.
- Develop an emergency response plan in case of a natural disaster, fire or attack.
- Back up all electronic files and data on a regular basis.
- Review usage of songs, images, and software to ensure you’re in compliance with copyright laws and licenses.
System No. 4: Information Technology
We increasingly rely on technology to support ministry efforts. From your church management software to how you display the lyrics on-screen, you need to consider how you use and maintain technology.
- Set up and maintain your internal church network.
- Determine where to store data along with how to back it up (and how often).
- Provide guidelines to staff on what software licenses the church has access to and how to request a license.
System No. 5: Project Management
While we may not all call them such, most churches run several projects throughout the year. Those could be church management system (ChMS) implementations, launching a new discipleship program, hosting events or remodeling the nursery. Those are just a few examples of projects — efforts with a definitive start, finish and objectives.
- Establish who will be the project manager for each effort.
- Determine how anyone who manages a project will lead that effort (implement a standard project management process).
- Select a project management tool such as Asana, Basecamp, or Trello to coordinate tasks among team members.
While this isn’t a comprehensive list, hopefully, it sparks a few ideas on what systems you can implement or enhance to further support the ministry of your church.
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