5 Challenges in Church Administration

Posted by Kelsey Yarnell on December 27, 2022
Kelsey Yarnell

Church administrators don’t have the most glamorous job. But anyone who has ever worked for a church knows that effective administration is absolutely critical. 

Without good church administration, weekend services would be a mess. Church members wouldn’t know what’s going on. And churches could potentially lose their credibility as upstanding organizations. 

But church administration is not an easy job. 

Church administrators face tough logistical challenges. They must coordinate with multiple leaders and ministries. They’re often dealing with quickly changing circumstances, like shifting leadership, locations, and attendance. To add to the difficulty, admins are often working with limited resources of time and money. 

In the following article, we’ll talk about five of the most pressing challenges in church administration–and the simple solutions that can make admin easier and more effective.

Top 5 Challenges in Church Administration & How to Solve Them

Every church is different, but there are some common threads that can affect every admin–whether they’re working at a tiny new church plant or a 100 year-old church.

1. Scattered Record-Keeping

Churches may change systems, processes, workflows, and even staff members frequently…especially when they’re new. 

One of the downsides to frequent change is that administrators may change the way they keep record of member data, including contact information and other details like member status.

A church may have a combination of paper records, Excel spreadsheets, and even Google docs to store information. Without a single, streamlined system, church admin and leaders lose out on insight–and are unable to communicate with members effectively.

The solution is a CRM for churches. Known as “customer relationship management” in the corporate world, a CRM is really just a system for organizing and engaging with your people. It can keep member data streamlined and visible, stored in one place. 

Best of all, a CRM for churches can be customized to a church’s particular needs–such as knowing a member’s volunteer status, family relationships, unique pastoral needs, and more.

2. Disorganized Volunteer Scheduling

Churches run on volunteers.

Men, women, and youth who freely give their time to run ministries, greet and serve church visitors, and watch children during services are essential to the operations of most churches. And yet coordinating volunteer schedules and placements can represent a major headache for church administrators.

Volunteer scheduling requires clear communication with volunteers, a system for storing their contact information, an accessible calendar, and categories for different ministries. This is especially key for child check-in, which can be the most demanding aspect of volunteer scheduling.

While some churches may piece together multiple methods or systems for volunteer scheduling, the best strategy is to use a volunteer scheduling tool that’s designed just for churches. Typically, that looks like a software application that can be accessed by both church admin and volunteers. A single digital tool makes volunteer scheduling simple, fast, and efficient–for everyone.

3. Different Modes of Communication

Organizations frequently face the challenge of having employees and leaders who use a variety of ways to communicate about meetings, action items, new initiatives, and changes. The result? Important information is missed…and everyone gets frustrated. 

In the church, this can look like one small group leader making phone calls to communicate information, and another sending emails. Still, another leader sends text messages. Members may lose track of scheduling and location changes. Leading a small group, ministry, or even staff meeting becomes an administrative nightmare.

Group management for churches keeps everyone on the same page with one simple platform for communication. Leaders can send emails and texts, group people based on specific criteria, and even schedule messages for later. That makes communication easy and accurate.

4. Constant Event Management

More than most organizations, churches are responsible for hosting events. Weekend services, mid-week services, ministry events, conferences, workshops, retreats, prayer meetings…the list goes on. Since churches are all about gathering people together, they’re also responsible for the formidable administrative task of event planning.

Church administrators spend much of their time creating event communications, registering attendees, securing locations, and scheduling volunteers for events. They need to be pros at event planning–and yet too often, they’re not equipped to plan events.

Event management tools designed specifically for churches help to alleviate and streamline the burden of event planning for church administrators. The right kind of event management tool will help church administrators organize events in a single place and easily register people. It will make event planning as simple as possible so that everyone can focus on what really matters: growing in relationship with God.

5. Communicating with Different Kinds of Church Contacts

Not all church members and visitors have the same needs for communication. For example, first-time visitors will receive a different message than long-term members. And ministry leaders will need different information than occasional church attendees. 

Church administrators face the challenge of communicating with different types of church contacts. Without a system for organizing and categorizing contacts, however, they’re left with the tedious task of piecing together contact lists based on their own knowledge. Or, they end up sending the same mass communications to every contact–helpful in some cases (sharing news about a Christmas Eve service) and not in others (delegating volunteer roles for an upcoming conference). 

Again, a church CRM can help church administrators stay organized with their communications. But when combined with email and text messaging, a CRM takes church communications to the next level. Administrators can quickly send (or schedule) targeted messaging to specific audiences of people. Not only that, but they can track engagement with emails and text messages to see who is responding and engaging with their efforts. More insight, and clearer communication–a huge win for church administration.

One Simple Solution: Breeze

There’s one simple solution for anyone facing challenges in church administration–Breeze church management software. Breeze includes a CRM, email/text messaging, tools for child check-in, volunteer scheduling, and event planning, group management, online donation management, and more.

To learn how Breeze can help make life easier for your church administrator for one low cost a month, click here.

Topics: Advice

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