Many times I’ve heard ministers state that the church should not follow business principles so they can be “Godly” in their approach to ministering.
Huh!?? Does church need to avoid everything that smacks of business to do the “right thing?”
Here are ten ways the church needs to be business-like:
- Budget — Having a planned budget guides the churches spending, rather than spending without guidelines to keep expenditures in check.
- Job descriptions — Important to let staff and church know what is expected; job descriptions provide guidance for staff members.
- Policies & procedures — Help staff and church to know what is allowed for vacations, sickness, family time, maternity leave, etc.
- Evaluations for merit increases — There are times when one, or a group, of church members don’t want one minister to receive a salary increase because they are convinced he or she is not doing the job. The result is that no one gets an increase in order to punish, rightly or wrongly, one person if the church has an all-or-none policy. Merit increases keep everyone from being penalized for the problems of one person.
- A committee to evaluate every staff member’s work — In business it’s the Board of Directors or Board of Supervisors. In a church a committee or board , call it what you will, to do the evaluation of each staff member and offer guidance to improve performance, and/or offer congratulations and express public appreciation. This need to be done on a regular basis rather than wait till things become unreasonable.
- Disclosure practices — Just like a good business, disclosure of practices regarding finances and staff policies need to be available to the public. Questions unanswered result in criticism and dissension.
- Credit — Churches need to be diligent in handling credit. The reputation that the church builds by conscientiously repaying credit agreements — from mortgages to credit cards — will give credibility to the church or degrade the good name of all Christians if mishandled.
- Salaries — Treating the staff, from senior pastor to custodial staff, with consideration for the cost of maintaining a family and meeting a reasonable standard of living encourages or discourages those engaged on God’s work.
- Marketing — While this is often an ugly term for ministers and churches, the fact of the matter is that any time you attempt to make your presence known in a community, any time there is an effort to connect with people so you can open an opportunity to let them know about the Gospel, at those times and in those ways, you are marketing. Why not put in effort to do it effectively and efficiently?
- Long Range Planning — Good businesses make plans for the future. They may not always develop as desired. It’s a lot more effective way to work than to have no plan that always works! (In other words, you hit what you aim at: if you aim at nothing, that’s probably what you’ll hit.)
Jesus talked about and/or practiced fiscal responsibility, job descriptions, policies & procedures, evaluations for merit increases, a committee to evaluate every staff member’s work, disclosure practices, credit, salaries, marketing, and long range planning.
So let me leave you this to think about: Is my church doing as much as a good business does so it can effectively minister and tell others about the Gospel?
Looking for help for your church staff to encourage them and assist them in getting the best job done? E-mail or phone me to talk about coaching for one minister or the entire staff so they can find greater effectiveness in their ministry.