Demystify Church Operations: Promoting A Culture of Excellence

Don’t you think it’s time to get rid of all the mystery that continues to surround our churches, their staffing and business practices?


S. Craig Whisnand  ·  September 27, 2016

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Don’t you think it’s time to get rid of all the mystery that continues to surround our churches, their staffing and business practices?

Well, I do, and I have taken my frustrations and put them to use. I am glad and excited to share that it works — and works well.

When the same corporate America business practices are put into place in the “Church business arena”, the results will have your church running efficiently, and have the staff, pastors and members not only getting along,  but working toward the same goal; with a new standard of excellence.

Some cringe at the idea that there is a business side of church operations.  Yet, without structure - tensions, discord, and a lack of trust can undermine the essence of “team”, and can ultimately destroy ministry.

There are various effective ways to use sound corporate business ideas and strategies to help your church operations function better.

Establishing rules, guidelines, job descript ions, S.O.P. ’ s (standard operating procedures)  — and yes, even an employee handbook — creates a standard of expectations, policies, and procedures that will help everyone understand their roles and responsibilities, establish accountability, and create desired equality among your staff.

Once this desired equality and understanding is generated, it is then reinforced by a mid-year review for all staff and pastors, so that each of the above items is graded and discussed. These reviews can help senior pastors and church boards make decisions concerning salary increases, bonuses, etc.

The Employee Handbook is an essential part of your staff equality and understanding of federal, state and church policies and procedures. Each state has a website that clarifies many items needed in your Handbook, along with the understanding of what your church leaders have deemed as part of the employee structure of your individual churches. The Handbook is imperative and needs to be amended as state and church criteria change.

For example, the State of Maryland is adding 16 more hours required for sick leave, giving each employee 56 total hours instead of 40.  As a result, this will be amended in the 2017 handbook. 

You also need to realize the importance of building an actual job description.  Everyone should be given a job description, which is then used throughout his or her tenure at the church. This will also help guide you as you prepare the mid-year review.

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