A good way to think of church admin is all the tasks (and people) who support the work of ministry. If preaching, pastoring and planning are the main endeavours of any church, admin is the support that allows pastors to focus on those areas that matter most.
It can be within, but is not limited to, areas such as:
preparing to make church happen on a Sunday
support to the board/committee/council of church
support to church staff
governance of the church including finance, property, safe ministry, HR, risk management
On top of that, you also have different types of admin support. For example:
Personal or Executive Assistant (focused on supporting one or multiple staff perform their role/s): supporting the roles and responsibilities of others
General Administrator (focused on doing whatever is needed to support the running of church for Sunday services, ongoing ministries etc): own role and responsibilities
Administration board (overseeing council of church e.g. treasurer, property warden etc)
All of these roles and tasks exist to support the work of ministry for the growth of God's kingdom. So, what are some of the key outcomes or purposes of admin in a modern church?
1. Reduce burden on pastors + increase joy in ministry
Effective admin allows pastors to focus on areas of importance and areas they are gifted in. The administrator also finds joy if they are correctly gifted and suited to that area of service.
2. Admin done well means more people are reached and less people are lost
In a growing church we want to be able to care for the people we have as well as have space to bring in the new people.
3. Churches can do more better
When admin is done well and can be relied upon, pastors are freed up to do more. They have freedom for creativity, development, planning and pastoring while church services can run smoother and events can be run without major stress.
Church admin is often the tasks that are taken care of behind-the-scenes to ensure the smooth running of church, events and ongoing staff needs. It is the foundation that allows growth without stress and the feelings that chaos and disorganisation can bring.
A ministry support person or team can add significant value to your church by helping solve problems, setting up strong systems and developing processes that give great confidence and a sense of trust to staff and your congregation.
This article is an excerpt from a workshop Sam Jensen (VCA Director) ran at the Reach Australia Conference in May 2022. Full audio can be found on the Reach Australia Podcast.