Without support roles in the church, little or no ministry would take place. Pastors may have a heart for preaching, but they still have to feed their families. That requires that payroll be processed.
Unless you are a house church, you probably owe rent or utilities to a vendor, and checks have to be prepared. If you have more than a couple of employees, your church likely has information technology and human resources needs.
These support roles may be filled by volunteers or paid staff. Regardless, your church should take care not to minimize the importance of these responsibilities. You can help ensure they are given their due by following a few key guidelines.
Tone at the top is critical
If the senior pastor or the board doesn’t see the support roles as important, neither will anyone else. If those in authority don’t comply with policies and procedures, it will be increasingly difficult to get others to comply as well. Leadership should be the biggest champion for the support functions within the church.
One business administrator I know made it a policy to take new pastors for lunch during their first week on the job. He wanted to develop a good working relationship from the start, and he used the opportunity to communicate the procedures and expectations for the church’s operations, such as expense reimbursements and the budgeting process. He also made it clear, however, that he was there to help the pastor and that if they worked together, it would make both of their jobs easier and likely help accomplish more ministry.