Just What Does a Church Administrator Do?
Church Administrators are often the quiet, behind-the-scenes, individuals on staff. They crunch numbers, enforce policies, and are a stickler for deadlines. Their efforts aren't very visible to the average church goer; however, their work provides invaluable support for the ministry and discipleship of the church.
Church Administrators, depending on how a church leadership team defines the role, may handle the following:
This includes making sure the church's financial records are up-to-date and accurate, establishing and enforcing a standard process for recording the tithes and offerings, tracking the budget for each department, maintaining appropriate accounting controls, and providing church leadership with insight into church finances. This may also mean the Church Administrator facilitates purchasing for the staff (office supplies, chairs, printers, etc.).
#2 Policies & Procedures
Church leaders need to codify certain activities to keep things running smoothly. This may include having policies and procedures for hiring or firing employees, conducting background checks on potential volunteers, updating the church management software with new data, and many more. The Church Administrator may not write every policy, but he/she ensures a policy exists where needed and that people follow the policies under his/her purview.
From health insurance for employees to liability, car, property, and special event insurance policies, the Church Administrator makes sure the church has the appropriate coverage at all times.
#4 Human Resources
While the Church Administrator may or may not have oversight over all church staff members (that might be the role of the Executive Pastor), the Administrator often maintains the employee handbook/policy manual, facilitates payroll, and other HR related tasks.
#5 Facilities Management
If the church doesn't have a dedicated Facilities Manager, then the Church Administrator often handles that function. This could include making sure the appropriate maintenance is
performed as needed, arranging for repairs, hiring janitorial service or coordinating volunteers, making room or entire facility reservations for various events, and much more.
#6 Information Technology
The Church Administrator might also oversee the church's internal computer network, email service, and computer or other technology procurement. A Church Administrator also tends to be the one who oversees the selection, implementation, and use of church management software (ChMS).
If the church doesn't have a dedicated Communications or Media team, those functions tend to fall under the Church Administrator's role. This may include social media posts, graphic design, mass emails, arranging all service announcements, producing the bulletin, and updating the church website; to name a few.
#8 Legal & Compliance
Church Administrators often end up working to ensure the church is in compliance with any required filing or reporting (especially related to maintaining the church's non-profit status). They might also coordinate with the church's legal counsel to have any appropriate background checks in-place for staff and volunteers, waivers, parental permission forms, and other items to protect all parties from potential issues.
As you can tell, the Church Administrator role is extensive in scope and amount of responsibility. If the church has an Executive Pastor, some of these responsibilities might be distributed between the two with the Executive Pastor providing guidance and oversight as the Church Administrator handles the details.
While most people may not think of "administration" as ministry, these functions support and remove barriers to ministry.