The work of a church business administrator (CBA) is to manage the administrative and business affairs of a local church. As churches continue to grow, someone needs to oversee and coordinate the many operational areas of a church. Just as the early church in Acts 6 selected deacons to relieve the apostles of some of the ministerial team.
In our fast-changing society with complex tax, legal, and postal matters, having a person who is knowledgeable and aware of relevant state and federal requirements is essential for a church. Church offices have become the nerve centers of information and implementation to keep a church on top of these technical areas.
A dedicated and well-trained administer can help a church be efficient and effective in carrying out its mission. The administrator can provide the ministerial team and church leaders with the support services needed for its daily programs of service.
Some essential qualities for a CBA include: a committed Christian, a sense of God’s calling, the ability to keep confidences, a team member, a knowledge of Southern Baptist organization and policy, a desire for continuing education, a supportive family, an example of good personal financial management, and a commitment to the mission and vision of the church. One of the greatest joys of a church business administrator is to see God’s resources used wisely.
Each church is unique and has special needs. Therefore, job responsibilities may differ. The basic areas for a church business administrator include managing the finances, office, personnel, building and grounds, and food-service operation. Other responsibilities may include supervising the ministerial and support staff, some pastoral duties, public relations, advertising, transportation, and church camps or retreat centers.
In the financial area, the administrator will work closely with the staff, church leaders, and major committees to develop the proper accounting system, establish budgets, solicit funds, and oversee the entire financial program. The CBA will develop and recommend policies and procedures for actions related to receiving, handling, banking, disbursing, reporting, and accounting of all church monies.
In the area of office management, the administrator may serve as office manager but may appoint a lead secretary. The administrator plans, directs, and coordinated all work in the church office so that all programs and the needs of leaders and members are served in the most efficient manner. A knowledge of automation and computer system is essential today. Many churches will look to the administrator as the chief purchasing agent.
Personnel management includes selecting, training, and supervising all support staff. A CBA will interpret and administer the policies and procedures for the staff, including salary schedules, benefits, and insurance programs.
In managing church facilities, administrators are responsible for the operation and preventive maintenance of all equipment and furnishings. They work with appropriate leaders and committees as they develop, recommend, and administer policies and procedures for an efficient and economical operation. In cooperation with key leaders, a CBA sees that the kitchen and dining areas are properly equipped, maintained, and meet local health requirements.
In some churches, responsibilities may change as growth occurs, pastoral leadership changes, and special needs which may arise. A person seeking a position in this field could benefit from training and experience in finance, fund raining, human resource development, office management, informational systems, food-service management, property/facility management, marketing, public relations, and communication skills.
Prospective church business administrators need to be involved in a local church in some or all of the above areas. They should consider volunteering to serve on committees where they need more experience and knowledge.
The need for church business administrators will continue to increase as churches grow and staffs see the need for a specialized professional in this field. The addition of an administrator can be of significant value if a church wants a smooth, efficient, and effective operation. Pastors must see the need and want to delegate more of the administrative, day-by-day operation to a trained, ministry-centered person. Business managers/administrators are in demand in many of our churches, universities, denominational agencies, hospitals, encampments, retirement centers, children’s homes, and home and foreign mission fields.
Compensation and benefits for this position are comparable to other ministerial staff positions and similar jobs in the business community.
Most churches and other institutions use search committees and special task forces in the selection of administrations/managers. The denominational grapevine/network is another means of discovering and selecting topnotch professionals.
The skills needed to be a church business administrator could also be used as a business administrator in a state convention or one of the SBC agencies or boards.