A Guide to Church Management and Leadership

In this article we'll discuss the differences between church management and church leadership and what kind of person is best for each position.

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Church management and church leadership sound like the same thing, but there are some important differences between them. Management is usually more concerned with the church's daily operations (which often rely on church management software to run properly),  while leadership focuses on religious matters.

We need capable church managers and church leaders to serve God and church members well. Want to learn more about church management and church leadership? We’ll cover all you need to know in this guide.

What Is Church Management?

Church management is all work that involves coordinating tasks, allocating resources, and guiding people to ensure your church’s daily operations run smoothly. While not quite the same, church management has some similarities to business management in that they both set goals and identify what is needed to achieve them.

It may seem a little strange to equate church management to business management, but you can learn a lot from businesses to improve church management. One of the best things you can learn as a church manager is how to implement structures, rules, and operating procedures to ensure your church’s resources are used to their maximum potential.

A Church Manager’s Responsibilities

Church managers usually deal with the operational side of things, compared to leaders who usually work on the spiritual side of the church. Here, we unpack some important responsibilities of a church manager:

Setting Goals

A church’s main goal is always to serve God and its members. However, some churches have other secondary goals they want to achieve. For instance, your church may focus on feeding the homeless, running a great youth program, or training more pastors. As long as these secondary goals support the main goal, it’s completely normal to have them.

This is where church managers come in – they set these goals and define them further to ensure they’re measurable and achievable. Once there’s a clear goal outline, only then can we start thinking about how to achieve the goal.

Outlining the Church’s Strategy

Church managers need to build a strategy to achieve the goals they’ve outlined. This task usually entails identifying the activities needed to reach the goal, the resources they need, and potential blocks there are to achieving their goal. 

For example, a well-made plan helps managers determine whether the church lacks the resources or manpower to fulfill those goals.

Managing Funds

Churches are mostly funded by member donations, meaning income may not always be consistent – this is why church managers need to be wise with their money. One of the manager’s most important duties is to control the flow of money and ensure all important aspects of the church are well-funded.

Ideal Traits for a Church Manager

Being a church manager isn’t an easy task since they’ll be responsible for the daily operations of an entire community. Who is the right person to become a church manager? A good church manager should exhibit these traits:


A good church manager is trustworthy. An important aspect of their job involves managing money, which might tempt some people. As Jesus warned us, “Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.” (Luke 12:15) They may also work with confidential information that would harm people if leaked.

Effective church managers are honest, trustworthy, and able to keep secrets, as outlined in Proverbs 12:22-23: “The Lord detests lying lips, but He delights in people who are trustworthy. The prudent keep their knowledge to themselves, but a fool’s heart blurts out folly.”

Works Well in Teams

A church manager can’t work alone because there are so many things to do when it comes to running a church. If they try running everything themselves, they might experience burnout. Find a church manager who works well in teams and isn’t afraid to delegate tasks.


Church managers are responsible for setting goals, so you need somebody who’s goal-oriented and always strives to reach the target. Goal-oriented people usually stay focused and don’t waver until they reach their objective.

What Is Church Leadership?

Church leadership is the responsibility to lead church members, staff, volunteers, and the community on their journeys of faith. Church leaders are tasked to serve everyone in the church and help make a difference in each of their lives.

The duties of a church leader aren’t easy, but it’s one of the most important in the entire church. The difficulty of becoming a leader and teacher to the entire church is even mentioned in the Bible, “Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.” (James 3:1). 

Moreover, church leadership is a blessing from God, and whoever decides to take it up is doing a noble task.

A Church Leader’s Responsibilities

A church leader, most often a pastor, is usually seen as the religious “face” of the church. Everybody recognizes spiritual leaders and will often come to them for advice. 

Here are the most common tasks that a church leader does:

Leading Worship Service

We most often recognize a pastor because he leads worship services regularly. As a spiritual leader, this is one of the most important tasks of a church leader since this is where they can teach God’s Word to everyone attending the worship service.

Managing Church Outreach Efforts

Spreading God’s Word doesn’t end within the church walls. Church leaders also manage outreach efforts, support the community, help the needy, and expand the church’s reach to people who aren’t members.

Offering Personal Ministry

Church leaders sometimes offer personal ministry to individual members who need them, in keeping with Proverbs 19:20, “Listen to advice and accept discipline, and at the end you will be counted among the wise.”

Setting an Example to the Community

Since pastors are ambassadors for the church, they are expected to set good examples for the community in all matters. The Bible says:

Since an overseer manages God’s household, he must be blameless—not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain. Rather, he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined. He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.” (Titus 1:7-9)

Important Traits for a Church Leader

So, what kind of person makes a great church leader? Here are three key traits a good church leader should have:

Serves God

Naturally, a good church leader must have a servant’s heart and be completely dedicated to serving God. From this place, they can become effective servants of their community as well.

Great Listener

Church leaders are responsible for leading and teaching their church members, so they should know how to listen. Listening builds trust because members can see that the pastor cares about their problems and concerns.


An empathetic pastor understands what church members need and is willing to understand their feelings. This helps make church members feel appreciated and understood, which goes a long way in building trust.

Church Management Software for Better Management + Leadership

Management and leadership are integral parts of your church because it won’t run well without either. Therefore, choosing the right church managers and leaders is essential to ensure your church can serve God and its members well. 

These days, church managers don’t have to do all the work alone. Church management software (ChMS) like Breeze helps them get administrative tasks done faster with tools for connecting with church members, planning services, managing donations, and more.

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