The Church is the bride of Christ (Eph. 3:23-24). That statement in itself communicates the significance of effective administrative leadership. While the Church is technically defined as a spiritual body of believers, in many aspects the local church operates much like a business. The problem is that many local churches either do not have administrative systems, or if they do, they have weak systems, in place to operate the business side of the church efficiently and effectively. When these systems are lacking, the impact is felt most immediately by the church’s staff and volunteers. In fact, a lack of administrative systems (1) prevents staff and volunteers from being able to lead well – ineffective leadership; (2) hinders the communication of the gospel; and (3) results in poor shepherding of the people of the local church. If the local church is going to “succeed” in today’s world, its leaders must become adept at business practices. Effective church leadership doesn’t just case vision, but gives attention to the details of running an organization. David Pollock stresses the importance of such systems,

The operation of the church is, in many respects, quite similar to that of a business. Even though the local church is not in business to make a profit, it is still a business—the Lord’s business. Therefore, to have the respect of the community in which is serves, and thus an effective testimony, it is essential that churches use good business methods.”[1]

An effective church leader doesn’t only see vision-casting and preaching as necessary to the missional impact of the local church, but also sees the administrative details as necessary to the mission. A bankrupt church is not a church, cannot impact its community, and reflects poor stewardship of its resources. The effectiveness of your church is dependent upon the effectiveness of your administrative systems. Stop ignoring the work of the back office. Let’s call it business and let’s do a good job at it.

[1] David R. Pollock and Larry Burkett, Business Management in the Local Church, New Edition edition. (Chicago: Moody Publishers, 1996), 13.

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