Effective Church administration rests on three pillars, data, processes, and tools.
We’ll discuss all three at their most fundamental level, with a few specific details. The goal here is to take the information and personalize it for your Church. When done correctly, Church administration helps your organization grow, but more importantly, functions healthily. Growth without health quickly becomes dysfunctional, so a healthy organization must be the priority.
Data is the first pillar you have to work with as a Church administrator. Start by capturing as much information as possible, attendance, contact, demographics, proximity to other churches, proximity to the highway, contributions, attendance during the holiday, proximity to residences, etc. The more information you collect, the better equipped you are at effectively administering your Church organization. Start by gathering raw information when you get enough information, you will eventually feed them to tools that will help you make sense of it and draw a pattern. You must become compulsive with data collection, whether you’re starting a new church or operating an existing one. Data is critical to the decision making in every institution in the world, the Church included.
The second pillar of focus for Church administration is your set of processes. Within that, the communication process is the bedrock of all your processes. Your Church may be on a treadmill of events. The administrator, more than anyone else, should be well versed in these events. Some Churches consider themselves events driven because most of their planning and budgeting go towards activities. As an administrator, for processes to operate effectively, you’ll need to rely on the data gathered. Communication about Church events needs to be sent to the relevant contacts gathered. A feedback loop also needs to be established even if it’s as simple as a suggestion or prayer box. Information about upcoming Church activities needs to be readily available even if it’s just on the notice board. A flow of communication and a system of processes and procedures fueled by data are the makings of a healthy, well-run Church.
Tools and Technology
The final pillar is the tools and technologies to be adopted in administering the Church. All data gathering, communication, and procedures must be able to take place manually first. That’s an actual test of effective data gathering and procedures. Tools and technology serve the data and processes, and not the other way around. Some of the benefits of tools are the ability to scale, automate, schedule, visualize, and report on the other pillars, data, and processes. An effective administrator will have already established the data they are collecting, the processes they are adopting, and then the tools to do so will be obvious and used in service of those goals. You’re probably heading in the wrong direction if your tools and technology are driving what data you collect or what procedures you chose to adopt.
Make it a habit to review these three pillars periodically, annually, or every 3-5 years. In that time, you may need to revise the data you’re collecting to accommodate changes in your Church. You may also need to review the processes to adjust to said changes. Finally, new tools and technologies may become available to help you administer your Church better.
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