ADMINISTRATOR

2 (2) 4                                  THE ADMINISTRATOR

  1. The administrator has to have a corporate view and treat the church like a company, no matter what the church’s size. For so long, the local church has been run in a haphazard manner. Often, the leadership tries to avoid becoming worldly, or losing spirituality. Those left in charge shy away from any practices that appear too businesslike. But this mind-set is extremely detrimental to the growth and success of the church as well as its varied outreaches and programs.
  2. The church administrator has to understand that the church must be run like an efficient organization. While the church is an organism–a living, breathing thing established by God and left to affect this world–it still must be organized in order to be completely effective and maintain integrity in business. The administrator should have the business savvy to deal with the complex nature of the 21st-century church.
  3. A church administrator has to have a well-rounded business background on one hand, yet have a strong spiritual mind. The administrator has to have a corporate view and treat the church like a company, no matter what the church’s size. For so long, the local church has been run in a haphazard manner. Often, the leadership tries to avoid becoming worldly, or losing spirituality. Those left in charge shy away from any practices that appear too businesslike. But this mind-set is extremely detrimental to the growth and success of the church as well as its varied outreaches and programs.
  4. The church administrator has to understand that the church must be run like an efficient organization. While the church is an organism–a living, breathing thing established by God and left to affect this world–it still must be organized in order to be completely effective and maintain integrity in business. The administrator should have the business savvy to deal with the complex nature of the church in this age.
  5. A church administrator has to have a well-rounded business background on one hand, yet have a strong ability to integrate that information into the uniqueness of the church environment. He or she should have experience dealing with human resource management, risk management, budgeting, purchasing, local government issues, land acquisition and building programs, to name a few.
  6. The administrator acts as a liaison between the pastor, the congregation and the staff. Because of this, he or she should have excellent communication skills. Many churches have experienced devastating events, all due to a lack of people-to-people communication. Not letting the congregation or the staff know what is going on, or not listening to the church people and staff, only leads to problems.
  7. Church administrators must be excellent communicators and listeners. Misinformation, inappropriate information, or even too much information, can be a hindrance to the development and functioning of the organization. If a church administrator follows the biblical principles that have been laid out for us in the Word of God, there will be less communication problems, less time wasted and less money spent when money is not the answer.
  8. The ability to integrate that information into the uniqueness of the church environment. He or she should have experience dealing with human resource management, risk management, budgeting, purchasing, local government issues, land acquisition and building programs, to name a few.
  9. The administrator acts as a liaison between the pastor, the congregation and the staff. Because of this, he or she should have excellent communication skills. Many churches have experienced devastating events, all due to a lack of people-to-people communication. Not letting the congregation or the staff know what is going on, or not listening to the church people and staff, only leads to problems.
  10. Church administrators must be excellent communicators and listeners. Misinformation, inappropriate information, or even too much information, can be a hindrance to the development and functioning of the organization. If a church administrator follows the biblical principles that have been laid out for us in the Word of God, there will be less communication problems, less time wasted and less money spent when money is not the answer.

 

2 (2) 5                            KEYS TO SUCCESSFUL ADMINISTRATION

“And in the church God has appointed…those with gifts of administration” (1 Corinthians 12:28).

There are many responsibilities that belong to the administrator. Sadly, we are living in a time when people are targeting ministries for litigation. In years gone by, this would not be an issue. But today there are many instances in which the church needs someone watching the business while the pastor is watching the sheep.

The administrator is the business version of the biblical “watchman on the wall.” Listed below are some of the key roles and functions of a successful administrator:

  1. The administrator protects the ministry. He or she protects the church by making sure there is fiscal accountability. There should never be a question about how money is handled. He or she also protects the church by training the staff in how to handle the congregation and their peers.
  2. The administrator protects the pastor. Most pastors do not have a person they can talk with who will keep their conversations confidential. Loose lips have destroyed many churches. The administrator will see and hear things that are to be kept to himself or herself, as well as in prayer. Being a pastor’s confidant is one of the best services that an administrator can provide.
  3. The administrator is not called to be a pastor or preacher. Those functions are left to others. If an administrator is inspired to be a preacher, let him do that instead.
  4. The administrator represents the church to the general public. Most churches will find themselves dealing with politicians, city council members and outside institutions. The church administrator should be well versed in these areas so that he or she can properly represent the church.
  5. The administrator must be spiritually mature and walk in integrity and honesty. The Bible says, “The integrity of the upright will guide them” (Proverbs 11:3). The Lord will guide the administrator who walks in integrity and honesty.
  6. The administrator is always looking for areas of risk and liability. To do this, the administrator must be aware of any problems or foul play that could occur. Today, there are people who look for ways to use the church as a prime target for forced litigation.
  7. The administrator is always doing his or her job, even when the congregation is worshiping. Even when you are having a service, and the congregation is in the midst of praise and worship, the church administrator is constantly looking out into the congregation for any problems or unusual actions that may create a disturbance.

For example, let’s say a lady is raising her hands and is about to trip over a camera cable. The administrator would immediately contact the usher to assist. Constantly watching over the congregation during a service may not be a spiritual role, but it is truly an important role.

  1. The administrator lifts the weight of the organization off the shoulders of the pastor so he or she can minister to the people. For example, the administrator interviews and screens new employees prior to referring them to the pastor for consideration. The administrator also takes care of facilities management, to ascertain that the building is being maintained efficiently.

He or she also oversees the volunteer auxiliary department. The administrator deals with conflict resolution when there is an issue between staff members that affects job performance. The administrator also takes care of all bank negotiations when dealing with new acquisitions, loans and other services.

The role of an administrator in today’s church is important and essential, whether it’s on a volunteer, part-time or full-time basis. As a pastor, when choosing an administrator, you must ask the question, “Can this person make a contribution to the ministry and get positive results?” If the answer is yes, then you have chosen a person who will be a real asset to the church.

The administrator may not have all the educational credentials or many years of experience; however, if he or she is people-oriented, loves the church and is a loyal, committed, servant-leader to the pastor, then you have a true church administrator.

The church administrator’s job is a tremendous task, and it should be taken on by someone who is willing to make sacrifices for the success of the ministry.

2 (2) 6                   Essentials for Spiritual Administration

If spiritual values are to be realized in church administration certain basic presuppositions are necessary.

  1. There must be a proper understanding of the nature of the church and its ministry, for the Patriarch’s ministry is the church’s ministry. The church is first of all a spiritual fellowship of redeemed persons.
  2. A proper concept of personal values is necessary for the realization of spiritual goals in church promotion. Administration is not the psychological manipulation of people to achieve statistical and mechanical ends. It should be related to the growth of persons who have been called by Christ, who loves them for their own sakes.
  3. A sound philosophy of activity is essential in the church. There are two extreme views concerning activity in the church the philosophy of “activism,” which assumes that mere busy ness in the church is a sign of spiritual progress, and the philosophy of “passivism,” which assumes that quiet contemplation and withdrawal from the world is the answer to the world’s needs.
  4. In the pursuit of spiritual goals in church administration the proper relating of techniques to motivations is necessary. In an industrial age there is a tendency for the church to take the cue from business administration in the pursuit of its task, viz., the “success” motivation, the managerial executive, the organizational loyalty, the mass productivity, the statistical quota. The church cannot pursue its spiritual goals by “uncritically importing the techniques of the business corporation.” 8
  5. 5. There is also the necessity of seeking for depth communication if we are to realize spiritual values in church promotion. Church promotion is more than a bold and gaudily colored head line in a special issue of the church bulletin or a more-or-less brief, dramatic commercial sugar-coated with a few pious phrases and “sandwiched” in between the call to worship and the singing of the morning anthem. Rather it is the communication of the gospel, the sharing of the word with hungry hearts.

Church Administration and the Minister

There is a need for the pastor to relate his own attitudes to the administrative function of his ministry. All functions of the church’s ministry call for personal oversight worship, evangelism, missions, teaching, stewardship of giving, indeed, the total stewardship of the whole of life. After all, not only must the hungry sheep be fed but they must also be guided and sheared and kept within the fold.

2 (2) 7  In order that the pastor may properly relate in this comprehensive sphere, we will suggest three features vital to successful administration.

  1. Bringing Creativity to His Task. Fresh insight and the adventurous spirit are important personal ingredients if the church is to avoid becoming “a coffin drifting against the rugged rocks,” as William Bone expressed it. History teaches that the bane of every church is crystallization and conformity. Individual initiative is a quality without which creativeness cannot long live.

The officer will make a place for creative planning in his work schedule. Simon declares that “no one can organize others until he has successfully organized himself.”  The officer should have a definite sense of time stewardship, as Raymond has urged. A worthy program and effective promotion demand creative study and planning just as good sermonizing and planned worship.

In the process of creative planning, the officer and other leaders of the local church should keep a wise balance between the use of their own ideas and the helpful ideas obtained from outside sources. He who refuses to utilize other people’s ideas will soon become impoverished in his own ideas. On the other hand, he who swallows vast amounts of material from outside sources without masticating and assimilating it into his own thought processes will likely suffer from promotional indigestion. The use of materials, from whatever source, calls for selectivity and personal appropriation by the committee involved if a program is to come alive.

  1. Sharing the Leadership. A lesson can be learned from the business executive concerning the delegation of responsibility, not to mention the initiative of Jethro recorded in Exodus 18. Too many ministers have an Elijah complex, “And I, even I only, am left,” when it comes to delegating responsibility to others. The business executive operates with an understanding of the “arithmetic of executive leadership.” He knows that he can multiply by dividing. He can increase the efficiency of his work by delegating as much responsibility as is practical.

The best leadership in the church is a shared leadership. Such a concept is not without theological precedent, since the New Testament does not divide the saints into the “clergy” and the “laity.” All are servants, ministers of the Lord.

A good executive selects competent and qualified people and helps them clarify their duties and responsibilities. He delegates responsibility to them, and shows faith in their ability to carry through successfully their accepted assignments. He concentrates his attention upon the growth of the persons and the development of leadership. He knows how to enlist the help of people.

  1. Providing Authentic Personal Leadership. The Officer must also provide authentic personal leadership. Philmore Isaac once declared that the world moves by personality. All of the great currents of history have flowed from persons, he said.

A leader must always be authentic in his personhood. People will rally about the officer who is genuine in his motive and spirit, and who shares an earnest enthusiasm. Unless the fires of a holy zeal burn within the officer it is not likely that the fires of concern will be kindled upon the altars of other hearts.

The authenticity and strength of pastoral leadership are, of course, discovered in the pastor’s sense of ultimate dependence upon God’s power. Recognizing the limitations of his own magnetism, regardless of how many or how few his gifts, he will seek wisdom from above, which brings illumination, discernment, judgment, and spiritual power for effective leadership.