Church management/Introduction

From WikiEducator
Jump to: navigation, search


A warm welcome to the course. You may be a leader in your church or a leader in a ministry in a church. Or you may simply be a member. Or you may simply be an interested party in this subject. A hearty welcome nonetheless!

Icon objectives.jpg

If you have found yourself with this manual (purposefully and NOT by chance), then one purpose underlies your study effort – to conduct a marriage ceremony between three variables:

  • The academic world of the science called management,
  • leadership as an art and a science, and
  • the sacred institution called the church.

Let us first start by attempting to define management and then leadership.

What is Management?

While several definitions of management are available, let us attempt to take a very simple one.

Icon define.gif
Management is the process of getting things done through and with other people.

This definition presents us with three variables involved in the process of management – the situation/activity or thing to be done; the people to do the activity; and the person the get them to do that activity. The definition also makes it clear that since the activity/thing is to be done through other people and with them, then the manager is not just a passive being in this process but an active player. The manager, is also a worker.

What is Leadership?

Before we get started, let’s define leadership too. As usual, many people have generated several definitions of the term. For our purposes of this course however, let us consider one rather simple and generic one.

Icon define.gif
Leadership is a process by which a person influences others to accomplish an objective and directs the organization in a way that makes it more cohesive and coherent.

Leaders carry out this process by applying their leadership attributes, such as beliefs, values, ethics, character, knowledge, and skills.

The basis of good leadership, one may say, is honourable character and selfless service to your organization. In your employees' eyes, your leadership is everything you do that effects the organization's objectives and their well being. Respected leaders concentrate on what they are [be] (such as beliefs and character), what they know (such as job, tasks, and human nature), and what they do (such as implementing, motivating, and provide direction).

A Philosophy of Christian management

But the question to ask after going through all these definitions is: "what do they have to do with the church?". Even more so, you may ask, "is there any room for such academic terms and definitions in the spiritual and sacred institution like a church?". "Are there pure biblical principles for consideration in debating these terms?" These questions and more, have berated Christians for ages - you will not be the first. Without blinking an eye, the answer to the last question is a big YES!! However this manual therefore will attempt to present the issues in a format with less biblical quotes and examples. We will bequeath that responsibility to the senior pastors and facilitators of the course. In presenting the course, facilitators are free to present biblical case studies as well as real life examples of the issues contained here as it pertains to their church.

To progress in the area of practical dialogue therefore, let us consider what it means to embed a philosophies of management into christian organisations/churches/ministries. Consider the extent of practicality of these statements ...

  1. The purpose of management in Christian organizations is to create a fertile climate for spiritual service—a sense of shared mission, wise stewardship of resources, and mutual supportiveness.
  2. The purpose of a Christian ministry is not excellent management per se. Management is merely a means to the end of serving God.
  3. Ministry team members are valued not only for their performance contributions to the ministry, but also because they are members of God’s family.
  4. The ministry team is to be a "family" of people who care about and for one another.
  5. Management of Christian organizations is to be people-centered and participative.
  6. Ministry management places a high value on cooperation and teamwork.
  7. Team members are motivated by a shared sense of vision and mission, which is more important to them than personal gain. Goals are pursued selflessly and sacrificially.
  8. How Christians work with one another is just as important as what they are striving to accomplish.
  9. A key aim of ministry management is to help team members become more “Christlike”
  10. Management in Christian organizations is ultimately a partnership with God, built on prayer, faith, and obedience.

Module Summary

So what have we studies so far?

Icon summary.gif


In this module, we have:
  • Discussed the definition and components of management
  • Discussed the definition and components of leadership
  • Discussed the implication (s) of the term/principle/philosophy of management to our christian organisations, churches, or ministries

In the next module, we will take the philosophy of management in the Christian environment further by exploring the concept and practical applications of leadership as it relates to the church or ministry.