Church Operations Explained. Why It’s Important.

When we think of ministry, we tend to visualize a pastor preaching a sermon…not church operations tasks. We don’t often think of the behind-the-scenes work such as:

  • Ensuring the air conditioning is functional
  • Keeping the children’s check-in system up and running
  • Confirming that all church bills are paid 

Those are a few examples of the tasks involved in making front-line ministry efforts happen. So, what does church operations truly entail? 

Here are Several Examples of Church Operations Activities:

#1 – Finances

To ensure excellent stewardship of church finances, someone has to oversee the financial records and associated policies and procedures. This includes:

  • Establishing a proper process for counting and recording offerings
  • Tracking departmental budgets
  • Maintaining good accounting controls
  • Providing insight into the financial status of the church

#2 – Human Resources

Most churches have at least a few staff members. When you have employees, you’ll need to establish and enforce HR policies, facilitate payroll, handle hiring and firing processes, and more.

#3 – Insurance

There are several types of insurance a church may need at any given time. This may include: 

  • Employee health insurance 
  • Church liability insurance
  • Vehicle insurance
  • Property insurance
  • Special event insurance 

#4 – Information Technology

Given how much we depend on technology these days, churches need someone to oversee the procurement, installation, and maintenance of that tech. This may include:

  • Computers
  • Hardware
  • Software and software subscriptions
  • Email systems
  • Any internal networks
  • Church website 

#5 – Church Management Software

Church Management Software (ChMS) can be an incredible tool for keeping excellent donor records, tracking discipleship program progress, coordinating small groups, and much more. However, it requires someone to ensure the software selected works well for the church and that everyone uses it appropriately. 

#6 – Facility Management

Many churches have a designated Facilities Manager to maintain facilities, coordinate room set up for various services and events, oversee any repairs or building projects, and more.

#7 – Project Management

Many churches do not have a standard project management process. However, every church has projects of some sort. Building remodels,  ministry outreach events, and efforts to refresh policies and procedures, are all examples of potential projects. A church that has a standard process for leading all projects will be more effective and efficient (read: save time and money).

#8 – Security

Unfortunately, bad guys don’t consider churches off-limits. As a result, churches have to consider how to secure their facilities, valuables, and people. This may include emergency response planning, dealing with the impact of a natural disaster (or pandemic), locks, safes, and security cameras.

#9 – Volunteer Management

Finally, a church needs a dedicated team of volunteers to grow and thrive. The process of inviting people to serve, assigning them to a volunteer role, providing training, and expressing appreciation must be consistent and well-established. 

With so much falling under “Church Operations,” it’s challenging for any one person to effectively oversee such a wide variety of responsibilities. However, that’s what many churches expect their Executive Pastor, Operations Director, or Church Business Administrator to do. 

In an effort to support those with this dizzying array of tasks, The Church Operations Toolkit includes templates, resources, and subject matter expert interviews in each of these categories. If you’ve been tasked with managing some or all of these areas, The Church Operations Toolkit is an excellent resource to save you time, money, and headaches along the way.

HOW TO BE AN ABOVE AVERAGE LEADER!

 

1) Never Accept Average – Words such as ordinary, typical, usual, status quo are the results of leaders that are on cruise control. Above average leaders have their foot on the gas pedal of their organizations and are always looking for ways to improve things and push things forward bringing life and energy to their environment. Average leaders often times have their foot on the brake, killing the momentum of their organization and any excitement associated with anything new that will cause the life and vision of the organization to unfold.

2) Refuse to be Comfortable – Leaders grow the most when the deliberately put themselves in uncomfortable situations. Sometimes the uncomfortable means stepping out in your weakness and acknowledging that there are others who could help you or do it better than you and allowing them to do it. On other occasions it’s doing something different than everyone else is doing.

3) Insist on Integrity – Life is too short to put up with people that have no integrity. A leader without integrity has fallen into self-deception and will only lead an organization into the ground. Unless God has called you to the difficult task of bringing healthy culture to an organization, don’t tolerate people who don’t practice the principles they only claim to live by.

4) Stay Awhile – You can choose to stay where you are at and grow through it, or leave and have to come back to it. Nothing increases your influence more than longevity. Leaving a leadership position prematurely could cost you years of influential investment. Before you leave, pray to stay first. There are times when leaving is a good thing for a leader and the organization, so my advice is pray to stay or be genuinely led to leave.

5) Take on Something Bigger than Yourself – What are you doing right now that you can’t do without some outside help? If the answer is nothing you are comfortable and headed towards complacency as a leader. When we tackle things that our bigger than ourselves it requires us to trust God more, lean not on our own understanding, and live in a place that inspires others to greater possibilities. You become a better leader as a result of taking on something bigger than you can do on your own. Better is always found on the other side of the impossibility God has called you to make possible.

6) Rub Shoulders with High Capacity Leaders – Connecting with high capacity leaders is essential if you want to lift your lid as a leader. If you are frustrated with where you are at as a leader and the status of where your organization is, find a leader leading an organization at the level where you want to be and learn from them. In today’s social media world you can connect easily with leaders that are looking to pour into your life as a leader. Make that call, send the tweet, leave a comment on their blog. Rubbing shoulders might not begin with a face to face, but when you take the initiative to connect it can open a door to get you to your desired destination.

7) Ask Why You Didn’t get the Job – A couple years ago I was asked to submit my resume for a certain position I really wanted. I made it through the first round interview and after the second group interview was no longer a candidate.  I thought the position was a perfect fit for me, so after receiving the news, instead of just accepting the rejection I asked, “WHY?” The feedback I got back from that questions is actually the reason why I started this blog: To Encourage Leaders at All Levels! I believe some of the best leaders in the world are overlooked because organizations are looking for the wrong things and not the track record of a leaders life. 

8) Replace Yourself – If you are not raising up a person to replace you, you are ignoring one of the signs of  great leadership; the ability to develop others around you.  Lifting your leadership lid requires not being threatened by the leaders coming behind you, placed below you, or who have went before you. If insecurity is keeping you from duplicating yourself you are failing the litmus test of leadership. If you don’t know who is your successor there you will not have true leadership success.

9) Be a Life Long Learner – If you fail to keep learning you will fail to keep leading.  When you get to a place where you think you know it all, you won’t grow at all! Here are several things I do to make sure I’m always learning.

  • I Have a Regular Devotional Life
  • I Regularly Read the Greatest Book Ever Written (The Bible)
  • I Read Books about Topics I’m Passionate About (Faith , Business, Success, Leadership)
  • I Blog and Interact with other Bloggers
  • I Listen and Learn a lot from Podcasts
  • I Meet with another Leader at Least Once a Month

10) Work Hard – I was taught at an early age not only to work hard, but what actually hard work was. Lifting your lid as a leader requires getting your hands dirty, a little sweat, some tears and at times pure exhaustion.  If you are afraid of hard work or have bought into the lie that you are above it. Your lid will always remain low. 

SOME SYMPTOMS OF SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE !

1. A strong sense of Direction- Successful People have developed clear cut goals that they are striving to attain.

2. A Keen Sense of Understanding.- Successful People tend to put things in their proper perspective, they all have developed communication skills that help eliminate confusion. 

3. A Bold Courageous Attitude – Successful People demonstrate the ability to take calculated risks.

4. A Knowledge Of How To Handle Frustrations- 

Successful People have the skills to handle frustrations.

5. A Knowledge Of How To Handle Rejection- Successful People have developed such a good Self-image that they don’t take rejection personally. 

6. A Knowledge Of How To Handle Financial Pressures-

Successful People have all put money in perspective . They understand cash flows and projected income. They know how to acquire; give, earn more: and save finances.

7. A Positive Self-Image-  Successful People like them-self, even though they may be dissatisfied with how they performs and behaves.

8. A Balance Motivation- Successful People are self-motivated and avoid the pitfalls of complacency.

9. A Charitable Attitude – Successful People have a sense of indebtedness to others around them that motivates them to give.

6 Areas of Life Where Successful Leaders Practice Self-Discipline

1. Successful people master their moods.

They live by their commitments, not their emotions. People who do the right thing even when they don’t feel like it accomplish most of what gets done in the world!

“A man without self-control is as defenseless as a city with broken-down walls.” Proverbs 25:28 (TLB)

2. Successful people watch their words.

They put their minds in gear before opening their mouths.

“He who guards his lips guards his life.” Proverbs 13:3 (NIV)

3. Successful people restrain their reactions.

How much can you take before you lose your cool? Unfortunately, a lot of potential influence can be cut short by a short temper.

“If you are sensible, you will control your temper. When someone wrongs you, it is a great virtue to ignore it.” Proverbs 19:11 (GNT)

4. Successful people stick to their schedule.

If you don’t determine how you will spend your time, you can be sure that others will decide for you. When you lead a church that grows in size, you will inevitably be pulled in a multitude of directions. You’ll have to become a great steward of time to be successful in life.

“Live life, then, with a due sense of responsibility . . . Make the best use of your time.”Ephesians 5:15-16 (PHILLIPS)

5. Successful people manage their money.

They learn to live on less than what they make, and they invest the difference into savings and give to causes that matter. The value of a budget is that it tells your money where you want it to go rather than wondering where it went!

“The wise man saves for the future, but the foolish man spends whatever he gets.”Proverbs 21:20 (TLB)

6. Successful people maintain their health.

They form habits in their eating and activities that keep their energy level up and help them last through stressful seasons in good health. That way they can accomplish more and enjoy their achievements.

“Every one of you should learn to control his own body, keeping it pure and treating it with respect.” 1 Thessalonians 4:4 (PHILLIPS)

Where do you need to develop self-control?

The disciplines you establish today will determine your success tomorrow.

But it takes more than just willpower to produce lasting self-control. It takes a power greater than yourself.

The more you accept God’s control over your life, the more self-control he gives you!