Digital giving apps and tools

The Difference Between Church Administration and Church Management

Church administration and church management are often confused with each other. In this article we'll discuss the similarities and differences.

Breeze Church Management

Church administration and church management are often lumped together. While they’re both important in the smooth daily operations of the church, there are some key differences between them. Church administration, for example, may be more closely tied with using a church management software solution to complete administrative tasks. Church management may be more closely tied with general leadership. 

Read on to learn more about church administration and church management, their differences, and how to use each to improve your church’s operations.

Understanding Church Administration and Church Management

Before we cover the differences between these two elements, let’s take a look at the definitions of church management and church administration:

Church Management

Church management entails coordinating and allocating tasks, funds, people, and other resources to achieve a goal. In the context of a church, the goal is serving God and your church members well.

Essentially, church managers are like the captains of the church. They outline goals, identify what’s needed to achieve them, and define the steps to reach them.

In terms of daily operations, managing a church is similar to managing a small business and often requires similar skills. Some people are understandably reluctant to manage a church like a business, but you need to apply some business know-how in running the church. Implementing structured business-like practices is essential to ensure the church’s resources are used properly to achieve its goals. 

Most churches rely on member donations because there are bills to cover and staff to pay. However, church managers should keep their priorities in order and serve God before money; as stated in the Bible, “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” (Matthew 6:24)

Church Administration

Church administration is generally a part of church management. Administrators typically ensure smooth daily operations by supervising volunteers and staff, managing the church’s online presence, and utilizing church software for tasks like event management and financial management. 

Church administrators often take on middle-managerial roles in the church, receiving goals from management and delegating tasks to the staff. Delegating is an especially important aspect of church administration. 

Even Jesus Himself didn’t spread God’s Word alone. One of the most notable examples of how Jesus delegated his work can be seen in The Great Commission, “Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20)

Church Management Tasks

Church managers are responsible for managing the church and ensuring they serve both God and its members well. Here are some key tasks church managers do to ensure church operations run smoothly:

Setting Church Goals

While a church’s main goal is to serve God and its members, sometimes churches also have a more tangible goal in mind. For example, your church may want to support the homeless, improve its youth program, gain more members, or any other goal that supports the main objective.

Church managers are responsible for setting and outlining these goals to ensure they’re structured, measurable, and achievable. A clear goal document also eliminates ambiguities regarding what the church wants to achieve. 

Planning Church Strategy and Activities

Once there’s a goal in mind, a church manager needs to outline what they need to do to achieve it. This means the manager needs to detail the steps to achieve the goal, what resources are needed, what could prevent them from achieving it, and other factors that influence the result.

With a church strategy, managers can then identify what they lack in resources or staffing and find ways to fulfill those needs.

Managing Church Funds

Churches rely on member donations, and these funds have to be managed wisely. It’s the manager’s responsibility to control the flow of spending. They usually have to balance the money spent between key church initiatives, day-to-day operations, operational expenses, staff salaries, and unexpected costs.

Supporting Employees and Volunteers

Church employees and volunteers are essential to ensure everything in the church is up and running. Managers are responsible for supporting them by providing the resources they need and rewarding them for a job well done.

Church Administration Tasks

Church administrators are usually more hands-on than church managers, often working with staff, volunteers, and outside parties to ensure the church meets its goals. Here are some important tasks often done by church administrators:

Overseeing Financial Processes

Managers set the budget, but administrators are usually responsible for overseeing the daily bookkeeping. They usually check the work of treasurers and accountants to ensure all the funds are spent properly. This is most easily done with a church software that can handle financial management.

Maintaining Office Supplies and Equipment

A church administrator is responsible for stationery and equipment. They’re usually the one to call if office equipment breaks down or somebody needs extra office supplies.

Outlining Job Descriptions

Since church administrators are often responsible for hiring, they also write job descriptions for new and existing staff. The job description is usually based on the requirements outlined by managers.

Supervising Employees and Volunteers

Church administrators usually directly supervise staff and volunteer work. They’re also responsible for organizing their work schedules and vacation time.

Negotiating With Members and Outside Parties

Church administrators need excellent people skills because managers often send them to communicate with church members or outside parties. Administrators often meet with outside parties like local businesses to ask for sponsorship or donations.

Managing Church Communications

Church administrators are usually responsible for delivering messages to members. They often maintain offline communications channels like bulletins as well as online channels like websites and social media.

The Difference Between Church Administration and Church Management

The main difference between church administration and church management is scope. Church management is concerned with the big picture and how the church can succeed, while church management is more hands-on and ensures everything in the church runs as expected.

Church management and church administration are equally important because they work together to ensure the church serves God and its members to the best of its ability. 

As said in Scripture, “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12)

How Church Management Software Helps Your Church

Church management software (ChMS) like Breeze provides an all-in-one solution for administrative tasks. Our software tools will help you with financial management, volunteer management, marketing, and more.

One of the greatest benefits of Breeze ChMS is that it stores important information in one centralized location. This way, you don’t have to search through multiple folders or open multiple apps to get the needed data. It also has robust financial management tools to help you collect and track donations.

Closing Thoughts

Church administration and church management are often lumped together, but they’re two different things with different scopes. Administration is more hands-on, while management is more concerned with the big picture. However, both are needed to ensure the church can achieve its goals, and ultimately, expand the Kingdom of God!

Share this Article:

Looking for easy-to-use software to help manage your church?

We'd love to show you what we built!

Join 10,000+ happy churches using Breeze ChMS™.

loves Breeze

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

loves Breeze

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

loves Breeze

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

David P.
loves Breeze
St. Pauls United Methodist Church

Breeze has been incredible. Their customer service, commitment to innovation, and their product are top-notch. I love the features, the ease of use and the mobile applications.

Karen M.
loves Breeze
Hillcrest Church

All of our database needs have been more than met, it's easier to use than the last database we had, and the price is amazing - what a value this has been to our church! All of our staff can use this software and they do regularly. We use it to track…literally anything a church could possibly need to track regarding it's attenders.

Chris K.
loves Breeze
Crossroads United Methodist Church

Breeze has been a great asset to our church and congregation. Especially from an administrative standpoint, it has been the most adaptable and easiest church database I have ever used. The features from blast emails to giving on-line, and texting have been one of our greatest assets. Thank you!

Ed R.
loves Breeze
Church Admin

We switched from a major, web-based ChMS to Breeze and our decision is confirmed every day. We are a medium size church and we use Breeze for contributions, member management, event checkin and a few other applications custom to our church. I had trouble getting any staff to use our previous ChMS but almost all staff are using Breeze. The product is very well designed, extremely easy to learn and use and customer service is incredible.

Ellen G.
loves Breeze
Grace Church

Breeze has opened the communication highway for our congregation and staff, with very little training. Because members can update their own records and search easily for other members - and map their locations, send emails and text right from Breeze, they love it and our data is more real-time accurate. Our ministries are stronger, because they can trust the data in Breeze, which is easily accessed anywhere, anytime.

Steve H.
loves Breeze
First Presbyterian Church of Ramsey

Breeze is the first ChMS my volunteers have actually embraced. That's because it's so easy to use. The software is very flexible and gives us the opportunity to make decisions based on actual data we've collected and not just hunches or stories we believe to be true.

Allicia B.
loves Breeze
Ellel Ministries Canada

I cannot say enough about Breeze. Their customer service is so friendly, you feel like you have friends and family helping you get started, they're prompt to reply and will do whatever they can to help you get things sorted out. It's been so easy to learn, our staff is loving it and best of all even our staff who are not computer savvy find it a breeze (pun intended). We are just thrilled by our choice.

Kevin D.
loves Breeze
Central Baptist Church

From the start of our process looking for an online solution, Breeze has exceeded all our expectations. Fast data import, fast and friendly customer support, and we can’t say enough about how much we like the program itself. Very well designed and user friendly. On a scale of 1-10, Breeze gets a 15 from us!

Rated 4.9 stars – 480+ reviews on Capterra