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Church Administrator Duties and Responsibilities
Church administrators tend to the day-to-day operations of a church and its personnel. The individual duties of a church administrator differ from place to place, but most undertake the following tasks:
Answer Phones and Take Messages
Churches receive a high number of phone calls from current and prospective members, as well as from other parties, such as accountants, marketers, and sister churches. The church administrator is responsible for answering these calls and responding to messages (both phone calls and emails) in a timely and professional manner.
Many churches and their leaders offer counseling and mentoring services to members and nonmembers. The church administrator often schedules such appointments and ensures the preacher, reverend, or pastor has enough time to meet. They may also schedule appointments for business purposes.
Prepare and Distribute Documents
Important documents such as church fliers, notifications, brochures, and religious pamphlets must be printed and distributed to the appropriate parties. Church administrators are often in charge of creating, editing, and distributing these documents.
Perform Administrative Tasks
Administrative tasks, such as restocking the breakroom, keeping certain areas clean, meeting with clients, and running errands, are often performed by church administrators. They may also run personal errands for the preacher, reverend, or pastor from time to time.
Perform Basic Bookkeeping
Church administrators, like many administrative professionals, perform basic bookkeeping tasks. They may print receipts, track of church expenses, document the number of hours worked by employees, and send out invoices for services. More complicated tasks are typically handled by accountants.
Church Administrator Skills and Qualifications
The skills and qualifications needed to become a church administrator vary from church to church, but in most cases, a college degree is not needed. Churches typically seek administrators with the following traits and professional abilities:
- Bookkeeping – many administrators have basic bookkeeping knowledge. Churches may seek professionals who know how to effectively use QuickBooks and other bookkeeping software
- Phone etiquette – church administrators usually answer the majority of incoming calls, so they must be capable of sounding professional. They should also be capable of handling multiple incoming calls and taking messages while talking on the phone
- Administrative experience – most church administrators have some secretarial or administrative experience. They should be comfortable providing administrative support to one or more individuals
- Organization skills – church administrators are often responsible for tracking numerous important documents, and sometimes these documents contain sensitive information. They must be capable of organizing documents and working efficiently
- Interpersonal skills – exceptional written and verbal communication skills are needed to become a church administrator. Successful administrators should also feel comfortable communicating and working with others on a daily basis
Church Administrator Education and Training
As mentioned above, a college degree is usually not needed to become a church administrator, but more competitive candidates may have an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in a business-related field. Many churches require candidates to have at least one to five years of administrative or secretarial experience if they wish to apply for the job. This experience can come from the business world or any other professional industry. Church administrators may receive a considerable amount of on-the-job training before they are allowed to work independently.
Church Administrator Salary and Outlook
Church administrators are classified as secretaries and administrative assistants by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which states they earn an annual median wage of $37,870. Those in the top 10 percent earn more than $62,870 annually, while those in the lowest 10 percent earn less than $23,650. Many church administrators have access to benefits such as paid vacation and health insurance.
The employment rate for secretaries and administrative assistants is expected to decline 7 percent through 2026. This is a considerable drop, especially when compared to the natural growth rate of 7 percent for all professions. This decline is largely attributed to a rise in technology that allows organizations to perform their own administrative tasks without hiring professionals.
Is becoming a church administrator in your future? Let the following resources provide you with more information about the field:
The Church Network – TCN is a nonprofit professional organization designed to provide church administrators a variety of educational and career advancement resources. Its official website boasts a job board as well as information on national conferences and regional events. The organization also acts as a professional network, allowing its members to gain new professional connections
Church Administration: Creating Efficiency for Effective Ministry – a must-read for every church administrator, Church Administration provides helpful tips and strategies for individuals in the field. The book understands the primary differences between religious institutions and other organizations, and takes them into consideration. After perusing Church Administration, readers will know how to efficiently manage church personnel, finances, and physical resources
Smart Church Management – anyone in need of a compact and informative book on church administration should give Smart Church Management a look. The book strives to help church administrators manage day-to-day operations more effectively and efficiently. There are chapters on money management, budgeting, public relations, and employee management. There are also tips for creating successful managerial strategies and using limited resources
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