Ten Things to Avoid in Church Administration

Avoidance means to succeed in keeping away from something dangerous or undesirable.  Conversely, the opposite of avoid is to confront.  In church administration, the only way to avoid dangerous situations is to proactively confront, or face down, certain ideas, attitudes and practices within the church.  In doing so, an administrator’s life as a church leader can be a positive experience due to the fact that more time will be spent focusing solely on administration, not being a fireman.

In this next series of blog posts we are going to spend our time discussing ten traps church business administrators should avoid. Or, stated positively, ten areas in which the administrator must be proactive in order to face down danger. The first of the ten is planning.

Trap #1 Operating without a plan

When my son and daughter were young we often went to Chuck E Cheese, a restaurant catering to kids, which specialized in pizza, clowns and games.  One of their favorite games was Whac-a-Mole, the object of which was to score points by clubbing moles (mechanical not real!) over the head as they popped their heads out of holes. Many churches follow the Whac-a-Mole management theory.  When “the tyranny of the urgent” kicks in, issues tend to be addressed as they pop-up. This method, such as it is, leads to many unpleasant results:

  • The inability to make good decisions
  • The inability to report reliable results of ministry activities
  • The loss of credibility of leadership
  • The loss of faith by the congregation in leadership’s ability to guide the church.

KEY: In the worst case scenarios the result can be fraud.  Fraudsters do not like baselines. (More importantly, they do not like to be caught!) Baselines help establish what is normal within an organization. With no processes or plans in place, baselines cannot exist and a church will never know what normal is. A thief can swoop in, help himself to what he wants, and no one will be the wiser.

In our discussion of this particular “must to avoid”, we will break the planning process into two parts.

  • Short-term planning
  • Long-range planning

In our next post we will begin with a discussion of short-term planning

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