More Administration

Notes on Communication: Strategies for Addressing Conflict in Congregations
This article discusses the role that miscommunication plays in congregational conflict and offers an intervention process for reducing conflict and enhancing communication.
For The CRG Created For The CRG
One Budgeting Idea when Funds are Scarce

Sometimes funds are scarce. God has created the world abundant with water, trees, blue skies and people we love. Though we have what we need, we don’t have everything. In congregations, this lack is sometimes evident regarding budgets.

Budget realities
The finance team would like to increase the budget for youth ministry, but the cost for the new parking lot is an unpleasant surprise. Or, pledges are down because a major employer left town. There is a widening gap between income and expenses.

Sometimes a congregation’s board does have to decrease the budget. Tough decisions are part of leadership in a faith community, just as they are in a business or a family. It is common for leaders to have difficulty deciding where to make budget cuts and for how much. The discussions about budget cuts can be as unpleasant as the cuts themselves.

Shortened budget
Here’s an idea that might be helpful if you face decreasing income. Try creating a budget for a period less than a year. Create a provisional first quarter budget or establish a half-year budget.

By shortening the time frame of your budget, you leave room for positive, unforeseen adaptations. You also feel the pain of shortfalls incrementally. The downside to this is that your congregation could be delaying a painful decision; pushing the inevitable down the path and hoping someone else doesn’t stumble over it later. However, shortening the timeline of your budget in times of scarcity can be a way for your congregation to be more nimble, to adjust more quickly to difficulties or opportunities.

Congregational story
During a recession, one congregation chose to freeze salaries, but only for the first quarter. The board agreed to revisit the decision after four months. When the time arrived for further consideration, giving had increased almost ten percent. This happened, in part, because the congregants knew about the provisional decision and many members boosted their offering because they wanted to support the hard working staff. As a result, each staff member received a two percent raise.

Resources you can use
When it comes to congregational budgeting, sometimes tried and true resources are among the best. Kennon Callahan’s Effective Church Finances is a practical book for clergy and laity alike.

When money is tight, illustrate the budget situation with more than numbers. Some congregations create narrative budgets, a way to represent income and expenses with graphs, illustrations, and even stories. The article Narrative Budgets, prepared by the Anglican Church of Canada, will provide you with more information.

If you have a specific budgeting question, use our chat function or email us to begin a conversation.

We want to help you move from scarcity to possibility.

web resource
ChurchSalary: A Service of Church Law and Tax
This searchable database for congregations with paid staff contains information on salary levels, retirement, and debt calculators.
National Association of State Charity Officials (NASCO)
This association helps congregations find state agencies that offer state-specific information about regulations for new congregations and congregations that conduct charitable activities or solicit charitable contributions.
Growing Small Group Leaders: One Year of Resources for Small Group Coaches
This one-year program uses a variety of tools like instructional handouts and training sessions to coach small group leaders.
A Pastor's Toolbox 2: More Management Skills for Parish Leadership
This all-encompassing guidebook explains how to manage a parish, addressing issues ranging from job discrimination to adapting to change.
Sustainable Children's Ministry: From Last-Minute Scrambling to Long-Term Solutions
This resource provides congregations with the tips and tools to build a children's ministry that lasts, drawing upon the experience of two ministry veterans.
The Four Tendencies: The Indispensable Personality Profiles That Reveal How to Make Your Life Better (and Other People's Lives Better, Too)
This book analyzes four personality types as they relate to why individuals act and why they don't.
Debtcibel: a Non-technical Sound Book that Teaches the Church How to Spend, When to Spend and Who to Spend It On
Written by a Grammy-winning sound engineer, this resource shows how congregations can achieve excellent sound systems using available resources.
Setting Wages and Benefits for Church Staff
This five-part guide provides technical and creative insights to manage personnel, budgets and IRS compliance to retain the best possible staff.
Bivocational Pastors
This brief video from PBS looks at the challenges and opportunities that arise when the pastor has a second job.
The Power and Promise of a Communications Audit
This article presents a simple, ten-step framework to guide congregations through an annual communications strategy audit.

Church Administration Articles

When it comes to managing a church, there are a number of challenges that often come with this task. It is important for administration leaders to keep updated through continuing education. Similar to other fields, education might present another avenue for leaders to continue finding ways to augment their skills, enabling them to better serve the members of their congregation. There are plenty of ways in which religious leaders can work to improve their skills and continue to learn about religious leadership. One of the top ways to do this is to engage with a variety of helpful church administration articles.

There are plenty of articles and new pieces posted on a regular basis. These resources are imperative for leaders to stay up-to-date with the latest ideas. There are a number of challenges that a religious group may find itself facing today. Connection to younger members is one of the biggest challenges that leaders see and want to face head on. In this case, it might simply be that expectations of the younger generation are different. If church leadership is not able to connect with the younger members of their congregation, then they are likely going to have difficulty in building a strong foundation for their group going forward.

Of course, this is only one of the many issues that are going to be addressed regularly in these articles. When church administration leaders demonstrate that they are willing to keep up to date on the latest issues, concerns, and trends, they are showing the members of their congregation that they have committed to growing, improving, and finding new ways to connect with the congregation and the local community in the future. If the church is able to adapt to the times as they change, then they will likely be able to continue remaining relevant moving forward.

As a result, leaders who would like to watch their congregation grow might consider taking steps to ensure that they take a stance that includes continuing education. That way, they may be able to endear themselves to the members of their congregation, stay in touch with the latest information, and efficiently and effectively handle any challenges that arise.

Church Administration and Leadership

Church administration is the team responsible for just about everything that goes on behind the scenes of the congregation. When people begin to think about church leaders, they usually think about the individuals they see leading services and delivering sermons. And while these individuals may very well be members of the administration, there are often a great range of other folks who handle various activities to keep the church running.

For example, members of the administration team can be responsible for making sure that the lights stay on, and that the building remains secure. In order for a church to be successful, leaders may choose to immediately focus on a good physical place in which to worship. The administration team can be tasked with securing the land, constructing the building, and putting everything inside of the building. In addition, the church administration team is responsible for making sure that the utility bills get paid on time, that regular maintenance is performed, and that the building is properly cleaned and sanitized.

Members of the church administration team might also be responsible for operating the outreach arm of the congregation. For instance, these talented folks will usually be the ones who are behind the social media accounts. Whether it is an email blast or postings on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, it is often going to be the responsibility of the administration team to run these accounts, reach out to members of the congregation, and make sure that the local community knows that the congregation exists. Members of the administration team might also be responsible for handling philanthropy events, outreach events, and finding ways to get their group involved in the local community.

With this in mind, when it comes to church administration and leadership, it can be helpful for members involved with the administration team to develop effective church leadership skills. Today, there can be a number of challenges facing congregational leadership. Therefore, it can be a great move for the administration team to ensure that they are able to rise to meet them. When the administration team shows that they are dedicated to helping lead their congregation into the future, members of the group are likely to immediately begin feeling as if they are being protected and guided by competent, disciplined, and creative members of the leadership team.

Church Administration and Management

In addition, it might be good to take a closer look at some of the management activities which can take place behind the scenes. Much like running a business, there can be multiple different departments to cover. For example, part of church administration involves the act of balancing the budget. While congregations may not have to pay taxes like other organizations do, they still have to make sure they keep track of donations and pay the bills to keep the lights on. In addition, the church will likely have to purchase the necessary materials for conducting their worship and small group sessions. All of this is part of financial management, and represents one of the principles of church administration.

Furthermore, someone has to be made responsible for managing the congregation’s small group activities. Small group activities can be one of the key parts of running a congregation, and it can be helpful to make sure that there is a small group available that is convenient for everyone in the congregation to access. By scattering small groups across town, you may be able to present more people with an opportunity to participate in a small group, if they would like to. This is yet another one of the top examples of when church administration and management can be helpful.

Additionally, someone can be given the responsibility of managing the continuing education activities for members of the administration. This might, for instance, be a team responsible for locating conferences, retreats, and even virtual activities that members of the congregational leadership staff can attend in order to augment their skills. There might also be retreats available that members of the congregation may want to enjoy. Then, the group may also want to find a way to provide scholarships for people to attend, in the case that they are financially unable to do so on their own.

Church Administration Structure

For congregations to run effectively, having a strong church administration structure in place may be of great help. That way, any administration issues will be able to be handled effectively. There are several church leadership roles and responsibilities which you might find present in any religious congregation. For example, someone will be at the top of the chain, working to ensure that everything runs smoothly. This could be a lead pastor, a CEO, or some other type of leader. There are a few other administration positions that will likely need to be filled, as well. To name one, there is usually a treasurer of the congregation who is responsible for balancing the budget. Then, there is also someone who handles public relations. Below this individual, there might then be someone who runs the email account, someone who runs social media, and someone who is responsible for different types of marketing. Following that, there might be a different church administration member who is responsible for handling regulatory and legal concerns, such as some sort of compliance officer. And finally, there will also often be someone involved in technology - a trained professional who is able to make sure that all of the congregation’s technological devices, such as video, audio, and internet, are also able to run effectively, allowing the group to successfully carry out and accomplish its activities.

Church Administration Training

Before members of the administration team are able to fulfill these roles, it could be a good move for them to first receive duties and responsibilities church administration training. There are numerous types of church administration training that can be implemented. For instance, a lot of individuals who occupy these positions in the congregation will often bring with them educational backgrounds which make them uniquely suited to these positions.

Ensuring that these individuals are able to understand the responsibilities they have within the congregation, and how the church runs processes, can prove to go a very long way in helping them successfully fulfill their roles. It could be helpful to gather everyone together and have them all introduce themselves to one another. Then, you might have them begin getting to know what their exact roles and responsibilities are. And then, you can follow up by giving them each access to everything they need in order to accomplish their jobs.

How To Be an Effective Leader in the Church

For those who are wondering how to be an effective leader in the church, it may be a good idea to take a look at small church administration and the principles of church management. The philosophy of church management may vary from church to church; however, communication will likely always emerge as being one of the most integral skills to have. An essential skill for church leaders to have is the ability to effectively communicate the roles and responsibilities of various members of their administration, along with the ability to communicate effectively with the members of their congregation. Conflict resolution skills can also prove to come in handy when it comes to running a church. Disputes are likely going to arise from time to time, and effective church leaders will be able to help defuse them before they get out of control.

Church Administration Certification

Congregations are able to place anyone into any position for which they feel they are qualified. There are no required credentials that exist as a prerequisite for occupying any position within a religious group; however, having a church administration certification can still be helpful. Being equipped with this certification shows that the individual is uniquely trained regarding the major issues that are often involved with running a congregation. It is even possible to obtain a church administration certificate online. Anyone who is interested in running a church or work in church administration may want to complete this certification, to verify their knowledge, show that they are committed to leading a congregation effectively and that they have what it takes to be an effective leader. This certification training may cover some of the key topics and major issues that are likely to face those running a congregation today.

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