- Theological Education
Best Resources for Church Administration
Balancing ministry with church administration can be a difficult calling even for the most seasoned church pastor. Insights Into Religion and its affiliate organizations offer regularly updated resources for effective congregational administration, including ideas and tips for efficient stewardship of church facilities, financial oversight, volunteer recruitment and more.
Church Administration — Resources for Running an Effective Organization
Center for Congregations: The Center for Congregations promotes faith community vitality by providing consultation, resources and educational events to congregations in Indiana. From its extensive work on the front lines of faith community leadership and practice, the center has developed in-depth knowledge and practical resources related to congregational issues, including the range of tasks that make up administration:
Using Resources is a set of guidelines to help you get the most out of common congregational activities, including administrative tasks such as conducting educational events, working with contactors and consultants, strategic planning, assessing your facilities and using congregational management software and technology.
Congregational Stories are summaries of real-life congregational experiences in introducing new elements into faith communities’ lives and practices. Topics involving administration range from planning and building facilities to implementing technology to managing revitalization programs and stewardship campaigns.
Workshop Resource Guides are lists of select resources targeting particular congregational needs. Originally provided to supplement workshops, these bibliographies include topics related to congregational administration, such as: Assessing Change Readiness, Building Maintenance and Capital Repairs, Creating a 501c3, Energy Conservation, Essentials of Church Finance, Governance and Ministry, Mobilize Church Volunteers, Using Technology and more.
Staff Writing for Outside Publications is an archive of articles written by the center’s staff, many of which address church administration from either a theoretical or a practical perspective. Three examples: Best Practices for using Computers in Congregations; Choosing Technology that Forwards Mission and Ministry; and Leaky Gutters and Sacred Spaces: Practical Tips for Facility Repair.
Computer News offers a range of reports addressing specific topics related to the use of computers and computer programs in the local congregation. Topics include content management systems, working with Adobe, podcasting, dealing with computer security and spam, using video, managing Web content and more – including an archive of the center’s newsletter, Computer News You Can Use.
The Sacred Space Building Resource Guides are three lists of key resource materials that can help congregations reflect on, plan and enact sacred-space renovation and building programs.
Hartford Institute for Religion Research
The Hartford Institute conducts research into how religious life is practiced in the United States in order to identify and track emerging issues and assess significant changes. A number of the institute’s publications and reports address congregational administration, making a perusal of the site a valuable endeavor. Areas to search include:
Clergy Leadership Resources
The Organizing Religious Work Project
Articles by Consultants
Designing Church Websites
Faith Communities Today (FACT)
Faith Communities Today is a cooperative research endeavor by more than two dozen faith communities, schools and religion researchers who have developed a common panel of study questions to assess faith commitments and practices across the spectrum of U.S. religious communities. Findings are published in FACT reports that address key areas of congregational life.
One such report, FACT 2010, outlines findings of the latest completed study; it offers insights into what faith communities are doing and how they are faring – which translates into what programs and functions are being administered.