Developing Leaders in the Small Church - Lesson 13

Small Church Administration

In this lesson, you will learn about the importance of administration in small churches and how it is a spiritual responsibility for church leaders. The focus is not solely on organizational aspects but also on the spiritual growth of the congregation. Administration is defined as the process by which church leadership plans, organizes, leads, and supervises the work of the church to maximize spiritual growth. The lesson highlights the significance of God's authority and the role of Scripture in church administration. Furthermore, it emphasizes the essential part administration plays in the ministry of the church, such as stewardship and effective use of spiritual gifts. Lastly, the lesson discusses the need for accountability in administration to ensure that resources are used to advance God's kingdom.
Glenn Daman
Developing Leaders in the Small Church
Lesson 13
Watching Now
Small Church Administration

pc108-13: Lesson 13 - Small Church Administration

I. Introduction to Church Administration

A. Importance of administration

B. Spiritual focus and administrative responsibilities

II. Definition and Responsibilities of Administration

A. Biblical definition of administration

B. Purpose and goals of administration

III. The Role of God and Scripture in Administration

A. God as the leader of the church

B. Scripture as the core document

IV. Administration as an Essential Part of Ministry

A. Stewardship and spiritual gifts

B. Biblical examples of administration

V. Accountability in Church Administration

A. Stewardship of resources

B. Accountability to God

  • In this lesson, you gain insights into the challenges of serving on a church board and learn about the concept of servant leadership in the Bible, as well as the differences between secular and biblical leadership, with a focus on the role of a shepherd in leadership positions.
  • Through this lesson, you'll gain an understanding of the church as the body of Christ and a spiritual community, focusing on love and interconnectedness, and explore the differences between secular organizations and spiritual bodies, ultimately shaping your approach to spiritual leadership.
  • This lesson teaches the importance of organization in the church, exploring elements found in the Book of Acts and the significance of leadership, emphasizing the church's mission based on the Great Commission and the goal to make disciples.
  • Through this lesson, you will understand the crucial importance of character in Christian leadership, as it demonstrates God's work in our lives, allows for influential leadership, and fosters spiritual growth in others. By learning from biblical examples, you will discover the necessity of relying on God's strength and guidance in your leadership journey.
  • In this lesson, you will gain insight into the importance of the church board's role, focusing on spiritual care and guiding the congregation towards a healthy church, which includes unity, obedience, growth in understanding God's word, active evangelism, and authentic worship, while being motivated by service and eagerness to lead, and understanding the accountability of leadership.
  • Discover the significance of prayer in leadership through the lives of biblical figures like Moses, Samson, and Samuel, and understand how prayer enables leaders to face challenges, find victory despite failures, and maintain spiritual strength.
  • In Lesson 7, you learn about the watchman's role in protecting the church from external and internal threats, the importance of church discipline, and its scriptural basis in Hebrews 12. The lesson emphasizes holiness as the primary goal and discusses the role of discipline in promoting spiritual growth and purity for individuals and the congregation.
  • This lesson teaches you the essential role of shepherding in the church and how to make spiritual decisions that benefit both the congregation as a whole and the individuals within it, emphasizing the importance of prayer, seeking guidance from Scripture, and reflecting the character of God.
  • Gain insight into the challenges small churches face in equipping people for ministry and learn the biblical basis for laypeople's involvement in ministry, understanding how to provide direction, identify spiritual gifts, offer training and mentoring, create opportunities, and give support.
  • Through this lesson, you learn about the church's purpose to glorify God, represent His character to the world, and transform people into the character of Christ, while also understanding the importance of good theology, connecting it to Christian living, and realizing a leader's role in overseeing church theology and fostering transformation.
  • This lesson emphasizes the importance of teamwork in ministry, explaining the New Testament concept of team ministry, the role of coworkers with Christ, and how partnering with others helps overcome individual weaknesses and fosters corporate wisdom.
  • As change agents in the church, the board must adapt to societal changes while preserving the core message of the Gospel. This lesson emphasizes the importance of addressing sinful behavior, examining the health of the church, and learning from the apostles as change agents.
  • In this lesson, you'll understand the crucial role of administration in small churches, focusing on spiritual growth and the effective use of resources for God's glory, as well as the importance of recognizing God's authority and Scripture as the foundation for all administrative decisions.

This course on developing leaders in the small church emphasizes the importance of leadership development and the challenges small churches face in doing so. It provides a biblical foundation for leadership development, focusing on examples from both the Old and New Testaments. The lesson then outlines principles for developing leaders in the small church, including fostering a culture of leadership development, identifying and recruiting potential leaders, equipping and empowering leaders, and providing ongoing support and accountability. The lesson concludes with strategies for leadership development in the small church, including one-on-one discipleship, small group leadership development, leadership training programs, and mentoring programs.

Recommended Books

Developing Leaders for the Small Church: A Guide to Spiritual Transformation for the Church Board

Developing Leaders for the Small Church: A Guide to Spiritual Transformation for the Church Board

In his more than fifteen years as the pastor of a small church, Glenn Daman has learned what it takes to make a church board successful. In Developing Leaders for the Small...

Developing Leaders for the Small Church: A Guide to Spiritual Transformation for the Church Board
Leading the Small Church: How to Develop a Transformational Ministry

Leading the Small Church: How to Develop a Transformational Ministry

Small church expert Glenn Daman knows the challenges and rewards of small church ministry. His first book, Shepherding the Small Church, focused on the ingredients for an...

Leading the Small Church: How to Develop a Transformational Ministry
Shepherding the Small Church

Shepherding the Small Church

Seventy-five percent of American churches have an attendance of less than 150, yet they often find themselves in the shadow of a few mega-churches with boundless...

Shepherding the Small Church


Glenn Daman
Developing Leaders in the Small Church
Small Church Administration
Lesson Transcript

[00:00:01] Last thing we want to talk about in our last session together is administration. Now, there's a reason why I deliberately left this for last is not because it's unimportant. It is. And we're going to find out that it's important spiritually. It's important for the church. It's really the. The application of really everything that we've been talking about. But the reason I've left it for last is because normally in churches today, the focus in terms of us as leaders and on the board is that we tend to focus on the administrative side and we neglect the spiritual side when in reality the administrative side really is the outgrowth of everything we've been talking about, that as we look back at all the different things, our primary focus has to be spiritual, that as leaders, our primary role is not to make sure that the the church is organized well. It's to make sure sure that the church is spiritually being transformed in the to the likeness of Christ. Now, that involves organization. But sometimes the old proverbial the tail wagging the dog syndrome is that it becomes the focal point to the to the point where we neglect the spiritual side. But we need to understand that really administration is the answering the question. Okay. Based upon where we're at as a church, based upon the mission of the church and the direction of the church, and how we are functioning as a board, as spiritual leaders and what we see within the church now, How do we start organizing the church in such a way that it accomplishes what God wants us to accomplish, that administration? So when we talk about administration, a definition, I think a biblical definition of administration is this administration is the process by which the leadership of the church plans, organizes and leads and supervises the work of the church in order that we might maximize the spiritual growth of people.

[00:02:34] Okay, let me repeat that, because I think this is important that we understand this administration is the process by which the leadership of the church plans, organizes leads and supervises the work of the church in order that we might maximize. The spiritual growth of people so that while there is an organizational function of administration. The focus is spiritual, that there's a spiritual function that we're we're doing. It's not just an organizational focus, but there's a spiritual function. And that this spiritual this this task of administration is a spiritual responsibility of the leadership. So it moves us beyond just looking at our finances and making sure the budgets are being followed and making sure the facilities are being taken care of. It's continually looking at the whole organizational structure of the church and asking ourselves, Is this? Church organized in such a way that it's helping people grow spiritually. So as we think about administration, first of all, it is the responsibility of the leadership. Our role is an administrative role. It's a role of oversight, and that's administration. Secondly, it serves to bring clarity to the purpose in the work of the church by developing clear goals, plans and strategies for achieving the mission of the church. Again, it brings clarity. It's saying, okay, how do we how do we accomplish what God has called us to do? It serves to enable the church to be effective in organizing the church in such a way that it maximizes the use of our resources. And this is especially critical in small churches because we don't have a lot of resources. We don't have a huge budget. We don't have great facilities. But what we have, we've got to make sure that we're maximizing for the glory of God.

[00:04:51] Fourthly, it bring supervision to the church so that the right things are being done in the right way. That's administration. It's asking ourselves what are the right things that we need to do and what are the right, right ways that we need to accomplish it. And lastly, it's centered upon the biblical mandate so that everything we do is ultimately governed by Scripture. Now, again, as we look in the pages of scripture, because that's where we need to start once again, we see that there is administration and it begins our formation of of a biblical theology, if you would, of administration begins with our awareness that God is the leader of the church. He's the ultimate authority that stands over the church. Because as we think about administration, we think about organizational flowcharts and organizational flowchart and nothing more than than showing the lines of authority. And it starts off and, you know, we think about the board and its position and we think about the various leaders of ministry and in their positions of authority and those who work under them. But we need to recognize that we all stand under the authority of God. In Matthew 28, verse 18, Christ says, All authority has been given to me, so therefore, go and make disciples that our ministry and the authority of our ministry is an outgrowth of his authority, and it's under his authority that we do things. Christ is the head of the church. So our authority is is given to us only by God that the authority we have is only that which is given to us by God. ROMANS Chapter 13, verse one, which we normally put in the context of secular leadership. But it's it's just as true of all levels of leadership and authority, including the church, where Paul says in chapter 13, verse one, everyone must submit to the governing authorities.

[00:06:56] There is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. That's true not only in our secular world in terms of our governmental authorities, but it's also true in terms of our position of authority within the church. So that our goal is to glorify him in all that we do there as we exercise our leadership. Our goal is to point people to him. I think that's very important for us. We've mentioned this before in our earlier sessions, but I think it's important that we go back to we always remember that we stand under the authority of God. This is his church. It's not our church. Because so many times, and even in small and small churches, we get into power struggles where certain individuals start thinking that that the church is theirs and they're the ones that have all the authority of the church, and they're the ones that should have all the final say of the church. Sometimes they're board members, sometimes they're not. But it's a failure to recognize that really none of us have any authority except for the authority that God gives us. And ultimately, he is the one who we stand under authority. And to be honest, most problems that arise within the church and conflicts that arise that that grow out of organizational issues stem from our failure to see that we are ultimately under God's authority. So that's where we need to start. So the first thing we need to recognize is that God is the leader of the church. Secondly, we need to recognize Scripture is our core document. Now, when we talk about core documents and they use this term again in an organizational way, an organizational core document is the documents that define the fundamental tenets of the organization.

[00:09:03] It serves to to to outline the standards, the the guidelines, the policies, the procedures which under which the organization functions. Now, normally we think of when we start thinking of our core document, the first thing that we always think of is the Constitution. That's our core document. And so we go to the Constitution, but we fail to recognize really, it's not Our core document is this book. It's not the Constitution. In fact, the Constitution only has value as if it properly reflects this book, because this is our church constitution. This is our core document, as we have in our doctrinal statements. And I'm sure this is true of your doctrinal statement. We have within there that we see the Bible as the sole and final authority for life and godliness. That's true of us in life. It's true of the church. So that this is the sole and final authority for how we do church. That's why we find in chapter 15, when they are faced with a problem in the church, the first thing they did is it says that they search the scriptures. And they based their decision upon what Scripture taught rather than just their public and popular opinion. So that's where it starts. So we need to recognize God is the ultimate authority. Scripture is our core document. And then thirdly, administration is an essential part of the ministry of the church. First, Peter, Chapter four, verse ten. Paul says this Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms it termed Administering God's grace refers to a steward being good stewards. The term was used in the Greek period to talk about those who are house managers. That's what he's talking about.

[00:11:18] Someone. It's someone who is a good steward who oversees and makes sure. The things are running well. And so the point here that Peter is making is that as we faithfully our work, our spiritual gifts and use them, we are to do so in the best possible way with the best possible means for the utmost for God's glory. See, that's what administration is. That's what being a good steward is. A good steward is someone who uses their spiritual gifts in the best possible way, with the best possible means for the utmost of God's glory. That's at the heart of administration. In Romans chapter 12, verse eight, we find Paul referring to the gift of leadership. That term leadership refers primarily to one who is gifted in the area of administration, one who has the ability to organize the church effectively. It's also referred to in first Corinthians chapter 12, verse 28, where it talks about guidance and direction. The term guidance refers to the idea of piloting and steering the ship. See, that's what administration is. See, without administration, the ministry of the church becomes haphazard at best or completely ineffective at worst. So when we look at the ministry of the church and what's at stake and what's at stake is the spiritual destiny of people. It requires that we be very intentional. That we make sure that we're utilizing our resources to maximize our influence for Christ. And that's at the heart of administration. It's stewardship. Stewardship is then recognizing that God has entrusted us with things He's entrusted us with, with those things that we have, and that includes the people that we have, the gifts that he's given us, the finances, the resources, all these different things that he's given us, that he has given us to use for his glory and to advance his kingdom.

[00:13:41] And he holds us accountable then to how we use them. In First Corinthians chapter four. Okay. Versus one in two. Paul writes this He said, So then men, men ought to regard us as servants of great Christ and as those entrusted with the sacred things of God, not as required of those who have been given a trust, must prove faithful. And so Paul looks at his life and ministry, and here are those who are challenging his ministry, who were criticizing his ministry. And Paul says, listen, you need to understand that. I need to recognize that all of us need to recognize that God's entrusted us with certain things, and he holds us accountable for how faithful we are to use those. He doesn't hold us accountable for the result. Why? Because that's in his hands. But he holds us accountable for how faithful we've been in the utilizing of those things. And that's true of the church as well. The parable of the good steward in Matthew Chapter 25 illustrates that that the last person was not judge because he didn't give anything back. He was judged because he wasn't faithful in being a good steward. He didn't use what God had given him to the best of his ability for God's glory. And so that's at the heart of administration. So the goal then of administration is not an efficient organization. The goal is spiritual transformation of people. It's not about efficiency. It's not about productivity. It's about influencing people and helping people grow in their relationship with Christ. And while we recognize that ultimately that only God can do that, only God can transform people, only God can change the hearts of people. Our goal is to come alongside of people and help them as they desire to grow.

[00:15:54] So that there is this this interplay that we see in Scripture between divine sovereignty at work and our human involvement. And our goal is to come alongside and allow God to exercise. He works sovereignly in the lives of people, that he's using us in the process to bring glory to himself. So that's it. That's the foundation of administration. So as we think about it, it's not about making sure the budget is followed. It's not about making sure that everything's running smoothly. It's about how do we glorify God in what we do. So the responsibility then, or this administration, as we think about how do we do that on a practical level, how do we implement this within the church? Well, first of all, begins by planning that an essential part of this is giving clear direction to where the church is going. So we plan and we set goals and we we develop strategies for what we want to accomplish. Goals that are really an outgrowth of this book. God gave us a plan. He gave us a strategy. We see that in Acts chapter one, verse eight. We see the plan of God, the strategy, if you would, of of God. Next chapter one, verse eight, he says, But you will receive power when the spirit comes on you. You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth. And it's interesting that many students of the Book of Acts have used this verse as an outline for the whole book. That is, we look at the early church and we look at what they were doing. They began there in Jerusalem, and then we see the growth of the church until it reached into all of Judea and Samaria.

[00:17:52] And then how it ended up in the end of the book, reaching out into the end of the world. So that was God's plan. And so the question that we have to be asking ourselves continually is as we develop the plans of the church, how are they an outgrowth of this plan of what God wants to accomplish? So then having determined what are the plans? Where are the goals? What is it that we want to accomplish as a church? The second question then is what actions do we need to take to perform those plans to help us accomplish those goals? So that's strategic planning. So we start off and we ask the question, what do we want to accomplish? There's our goals. Secondly, what actions do we need to perform to accomplish that? And then thirdly, what are the measurable steps that we need to accomplish for those things to happen? So we continue to break it down to say, okay, now we know why we need to do this week, this month, this year in terms of our are our goals. And then the fourth question. The first is how do we accomplish? Or what do we want to accomplish? Secondly, what actions do we need to take to perform to accomplish those goals? Third, what are the measurable steps? And then fourth, how do we accomplish them in the right way so that God is most glorified? How do we accomplish our goals and our objectives, our strategies in the best possible way? That's policies and procedures. And even the small trees. We need to understand their policies. We need to have. There are things that we need to to say, this is how we're going to do things. If we want to glorify God, we're going to do it this way.

[00:19:45] And that's policies and procedures and so that we can utilize our resources for to maximize the glory of God. But that's where it starts. The challenge I think, of small churches is when we think of administration, we primarily think of the budgets and how to organize the budget, make sure the budgets are being followed, how to make sure the facilities. We tend not to look at what are our goals, where are the direction, what do we want to accomplish as a church, and how are we going to do that? That's where administration starts. So it starts with planning. Now, that doesn't mean that we it's a substitute for prayer, because prayer is really the foundation for planning that we it's really an outgrowth of prayer as we seek God's direction. Secondly, administration involves organization. That we not only need to plan, but now we need to organize an organizing is is the process of making sure that things are done in an orderly way. And again, we see that God is in God of order. God has order in his redemptive work. We see it, first of all, in the family that God established a structure within the family, an organizational structure. We see it in Genesis chapter two and Ephesians five, that there's there's a structure that he's established in terms of differing roles. We see it in terms of the nation of Israel. If you don't believe that God is a God of order and organization, look at the book of numbers. Regard was very specific of how he wanted them to travel in the desert and how he wanted them to camp and when they when they stopped their travels. Very specific in his organization and placement of Israel. We see it in the early church.

[00:21:55] We see it in the establishment of leadership that there was organization. We see that Peter and James and John were some of the initial leaders there in the Church of Jerusalem. We see it in first Corinthians Chapter 11 in terms of order within the worship service, God is the God of order. So administration is is aligning ourselves with the order that God has established. Now, as we think about developing organizational structures, again, there are several questions we need to ask. The first question we need to ask is this Who is responsible for doing what? Who's the one we're going to be responsible. For accomplishing it. Secondly, what is expected of people who are involved in the various ministries of the church? What do we expect of our Sunday school teachers? So oftentimes we don't we don't think that through and we don't communicate to that. And then when they don't meet our expectations, we become frustrated and and they become frustrated. But we never told them from the outset what was expected of them. So secondly, what is expected of them. Third, what are the channels of authority that exist so people understand who they're accountable to? So again, as we think about organizational structuring, we're asking three important questions. Who is responsible? What are the expectations and what are the channels of authority? Who has the authority to make what decisions. And so they understand that. So when we talk about organizational charts and those wonderful things that we think is is secular and we never have to deal. But really, they're at the heart of ministry because we're asking ourselves. If I have a problem, if I'm if I have a teenager and I have a question about the youth ministry, who do I go to? Or if I'm the youth director and I'm having a problem with the parent? Who do I go to first for help? Because without those, what we end up happening is, is different.

[00:24:07] People assume they have certain responsibilities. Based upon. Maybe they were in another church, and in that church they had those responsibilities. So they come into our church, they think that they have those that same authority. They start exercising them because no one told them different. And then all of a sudden someone else gets upset because they moved over into their area and all of a sudden you got a conflict in the church. And the problem really was a failure of the leadership to establish clear lines of authority. So we want to do that as part of organization, part of administration. The third aspect of administration, not only is it involve planning, not only is it involve organizing, but thirdly, it involves staffing. And again, staffing is the process of selecting, orienting, training and developing people so that they can be effective in ministry. Now, whether that's a paid staff or a volunteer staff, we're still coming along saying how are we going to put get people involved so that we have people doing the ministries that we believe need to be done. Now, as we think about staffing, there are several things that we need to think through. First of all, how are we going to recruit people? How are we going to do? How are we going to get them involved in ministry? And one of the most important steps that we need to ask before we start recruiting someone is this why is this ministry or task important? Why is it so important that we want them? To take time out of their busy lives and give us two or three or four or 5 hours of their life every week to do this ministry. Because if it's not important or if we haven't communicated that to them why it's important, then they're not going to volunteer or they'll be frustrated in it.

[00:26:05] Secondly, involves training. Once we recruit them, we need to train them. We need to equip them. Too many times in the small church, we put people in a position of ministry. And let's take, for example, a Sunday school teacher. And we really struggle to find someone who's a Sunday school teacher. We finally get them recruited, we get them involved, we just give them the Sunday school material and we say there's the Class C, C on Sunday, and they come up on Sunday and they have never taught Sunday school class. Anyone have a clue what to do? So what did they do? They read out of the book. And the kids come home and they say, Well, I was born in the parents call up the pastor or the board member and say, What is this new Sunday school teacher? They're boring. They're not exciting. They're doing a horrible job. That person hears about it. They get their feelings hurt, and all of a sudden you've got a problem. And really what the problem was, we didn't equip them. We didn't give them the training they needed to be effective. And then thirdly, we need to not only train them, we need to support them. Supporting them means that we come alongside them. We give them encouragement that they need, but we also then give them the resources they need. Nothing is more frustrating for anyone to be given a job without the resources to do it. And so we need to make sure that as a church we are supporting them. The fourth element of administration is indirection, and direction is nothing more than the board come alongside and say, okay, how does this ministry fit into the overall direction the church is going? So we're helping to give that ministry direction so that they know their role within the church.

[00:27:47] They know why they're there and how it relates to the whole of church. And so we need to give them direction and oversee that and help them to to see the differences. And then lastly, as we've talked about, administration involves evaluation. And again, it's this ongoing process where we're continually evaluating our programs or continually evaluating what we're doing, why we're doing it, how we're doing it, so that we're making sure we're accomplishing our goals, we're making sure we're being effective in ministry. Now, there's several questions. This is just to help us, and you can come up with more questions, but here's some questions that I think it's helpful to periodically as a church stop and ask at an administrative level. First of all, the question is, are we accomplishing the mission that God has established for the church? So that was why that session on what is the overall mission of the church is so important. Because if we don't understand that, we don't know what we're supposed to be doing. So there needs to be times where we periodically, as a church and as a board, take a step back and say, okay, God has given us the task of reaching people of the Gospel of Christ, of equipping them to be disciples of Christ, and then equipping them and training them to be servants of Christ. How are we doing that? Are we doing a good job? Secondly, are we accomplishing the goals that we have established as the church? Both long term goals and short term goals? Are we accomplishing them? And if not, why not? Is it because the goals were faulty or because we haven't properly implemented those goals within the Ministry of the Church? A third question it's helpful to ask in terms of the evaluation process is are we being effective in the uses of our resources? We have a small budget, we have a limited amount of funds.

[00:29:52] Are we being effective in how we're using those funds? Is there is there a way that we could be more effective? And sometimes we have to think outside the box here a little bit. Sometimes we get so locked into how we have done things in the past that we fail to recognize. There may be a different way we can do stuff that would more maximize the use of our resources, for example. Historically, we always get every year and every quarter we buy Sunday school material. And so a major portion of our budget, if you look at churches, their budgets, especially small churches, the majority, a major portion goes to paying the pastor salary. And then there's pain to the facilities, the bills, the electricity, etc.. And then the third element that's a major portion of it is our city budget, because we have to buy Sunday school material. But maybe there's some other ways that we can be creative, either developing our own or reusing past material or even another excellent way is getting hold of other churches and larger churches that do process through different materials and use their materials. Maybe there's a way where we can lower the cost, but then we can take some of that money and put it over into a youth program and start reaching out into our youth program. Yeah, those kind of thing. Just asking ourselves, are we maximizing uses of our resources? A fourth question. This is one that's probably one of the most difficult ones to ask. Is this Are the ministries being effective? And the reason I say that's oftentimes a difficult one to assess, but I think it's important that we ask the question is because it's very difficult to assess effectiveness because it's too easy to get locked in on numbers and say, okay, well, we're getting more numbers here.

[00:31:45] And but that's not always effective because, again, the goal is transformation of people. But it's important that we understand. Look at are we helping people grow in Christ? Is our church becoming more mature in Christ? A fifth question that we can ask is Are people being equipped to do ministry? Are the people and are we equipping our church to be effective in ministry? So as we look at these five questions, I think it's important that we recognize that this should be a continual process. When we think about administration. It's not just budgets and facilities. It deals with planning, setting goals. It deals with organization and structures. It deals with. Equipping people for ministry. But we need to be continually asking ourselves, are we accomplishing that? Are we? Doing ministry effectively, or are we just doing ministry? That's the goal of administration, because without that, we'll end up with just the church. They may meet and it becomes just a social club without an impact in the cause of Christ. Administration is taking everything that we've talked about all during these sessions and asking ourselves, okay, now how do we do this in our church? That's administration.