As we begin to wrap up 2020 (and there was a lot of celebrations), it’s time to think about how we can start the New Year off on the right foot. For church administrators, there are a handful of areas to consider and address in preparing our churches for a great year of ministry.
Here are several ideas for making the administration of your church even more efficient in the coming year:
# 1: Scrub the Church Database
With the need to send out donation receipts soon, this is a great time to make sure you have accurate addresses and contact information in the church database (or ChMS). Consider emailing everyone who has donated in the past year asking them to confirm their mailing address. Check with administrative volunteers to see if they can sort the responses and update the database accordingly.
Even better if your church management software allows members to log in and update their profile data. Send an email asking members to update their mailing address and other profile information. Using the motivation to make sure they get their tax receipt on time makes January a great time for that effort.
# 2: Update the church calendar
If your church does not have a central calendar of all events and services, now is the time to create one. If you do, then it’s just a matter of making sure it’s up to date.
Check with each ministry official for a list of events and dates for each. Schedule them with regular services. Discuss with the facility manager any upcoming scheduled maintenance (if you are having the roof repaired, you probably don’t want any significant events to happen at the church during this time, so it is helpful to put these cases on the table. calendar).
A central schedule keeps the whole team on the same page and avoids confusion along the way. Of course, we know that external circumstances may force us to change plans on the fly, so putting this calendar in electronic format makes it easy to update when needed.
# 3: Review / update policies and procedures
When was the last time someone read (in detail) your church employee handbook? If there is no mention of the guidelines for using social media, it could be due to an update.
What about the procedure for counting and depositing the offering each week? If this procedure does not refer to how to count debit card donations in the week total, a review is overdue.
There is no point in having policies and procedures if we don’t keep them up to date and relevant. This is also a good time to determine if you need to document any new policies or procedures. Work with church leaders to review these documents and update them as necessary.
N ° 4: Develop an administrative team of volunteers
Do you spend hours each week sending postcards to last week’s new guests or adding people from the new membership class to the church database? If so, why not invite a few detail-oriented volunteers to take care of some of these tasks for you?
Decide what you can delegate to them, document how you want them to perform those tasks, invite detail-minded people to volunteer, provide training, and get them started.
# 5: examine the church technology setup
Hard drive failures, malware infections, and securing your church’s electronic files are potential issues that need to be addressed on a regular basis.
Consider the following:
- Have you scheduled a regular backup for all church computers and the church network? Is this data saved in the cloud or in an offsite location?
- Are all computers in the church up to date with the latest antivirus software?
- Do you need to upgrade software?
N ° 6: Take the time to cool off
The Christmas season is both a wonderful and eventful time of year for church staff. You will likely be spending extra hours preparing for special Christmas church services and your family’s Christmas celebrations.
Hopefully your church gives you a few days (or more) off after Christmas. Take advantage of this moment and relax.
# 7: plan update tasks
Since your to-do list by the end of January is probably a mile long, don’t worry if you can’t access much of that list during this time. Go over your calendar, decide on the best month to handle each of these, and set aside time to make it happen.
There is so much work behind the scenes in running a church. It has been a difficult year. While you look forward to closing the door in 2020, hopefully this list sparks some ideas for making 2021 better for you and your church.