Blog Post

Let’s Talk: About Administration

I want to share a few things I’ve been thinking about throughout this past week about the work of Administration.

What do I mean by Administration? I’m talking about our Bylaws, our HR and Insurance policies, our Financial statements, our Safe Conduct Policies—and anything else that we put in place as a matter of course to make sure God’s work can happen.

While it may seem odd for this newsletter format, I decided to lay it out in bullet points just because the points may or may not be related to one another. I’ll let you decide.

  • Administration is the framework that allows our ministry to thrive. It is not the end goal. It is the means to get to our goals and visions.
  • I think of Administration as a Home that provides a strong location from which to go about the work God has called us to. When we build a home, we start with a strong foundation and then we frame the house with beams of wood that will support the weight of the rest of the hosue. Once the foundation and frame are secure, the building can take shape. If it’s doing its job, you may even forget those foundational pieces are there. If something goes wrong, you have to address it or nothing in the house will ever succeed.
  • Administration has Ministry in its very name. It is a vital part of our ministry and should be tended to with great care.
  • One example of an Administrative piece is the Pastoral Relations Committee. When I talk to churches about organizing a PRC, I suggest that the group meet regularly, even if the minister or the members have nothing in particular to bring to the table. Why? Because it offers a space to build relationships and get to know one another—to build trust. With those key relationships in place, if and when an issue comes up, the committee will have built the foundation of relationship trust it needs to address the issue in the most effective and authentic way possible. The PRC becomes a place of covenant where the members are prepared for any and all conversations, especially the difficult ones.
  • In the same way, if we plan all our administrative pieces with the same kind of care and commitment before any particular issue or before any individual or group becomes the focus of an issue, then we will have the resources we need in place to help us navigate every situation with care and prayer.

While the outreach, justice and missional ministries we are involved in are visible and tangible signs of who God has called us to be, it is the underlying administrative work that we tend to that allows that ministry to take wings and allows our faith communities to be safe places of extravagant welcome for all.

One Comment

  • Anne Hoffmann

    ADMINISTRATION: It’s also the work that makes all the other work possible. When done well, it enables mission to thrive, providing the sustainable framework for everything. It is about relationships and building a container for healthy ones. A good administrator always keeps the whole body with her into every individual encounter knowing, as she does, how this meeting and that budget request and this personnel review and tonight’s Council meeting has an affect on everything in that system. Administration is good pastoral care and nurtures the deep well of compassion that surrounds even the most trivial encounters.

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