The Pastor and Church Administration


Tidwell begins his classic on Church Administration by saying: “The church is people. They are not just any people. The church is God’s people. They are children of God.”<note:Charles Tidwell, Church Administration: Effective Leadership for Ministry (Nashville, TN: B&H Publishing Group, 1985), 25.> Because the church is the people of God and a God-ordained institution instead of a man-made organization, the goal of the church and ministry is to fulfill the commands of Christ, especially with regard to the Great Commission. In order to effectively carry out the commands of Christ and the Great Commission, the church must fulfill its role in the most efficient, effective, and clearly-organized manner possible. Church administration is the solution in order for the church to efficiently and effectively carry out its mission.<note:Tidwell, Church Administration: Effective Leadership for Ministry, 26–27.Ibid., 26–27.>
The pastor serves as the church’s primary spiritual leader and shepherd under the authority of Christ to guide the church to fulfilling its mission. In smaller churches, the pastor may also be required to function as the church’s primary business administrator to carry out the work of the church, whereas in larger churches, the pastor may have the assistance of a dedicated church business administrator. Regardless of how personally involved the pastor is in church administration, the pastor cannot forget that church administration is still a part of the church’s overall ministry and an area that cannot suffer neglect. Tidwell clearly illustrates the need for church administration this way: “Church administration is to serve the church. The form of the service is ministry.”<note:Tidwell, Church Administration: Effective Leadership for Ministry, 28–29.Ibid., 28–29.>
While some modern churches have the belief that organization, written policies and procedures, and structure is un-Scriptural, and that the Holy Spirit should be the primary guide to the church’s mission, effective church administration provides a more Scriptural structure and makes better use of the leadership of the Holy Spirit than no structure and organization at all. God is not one of disorder. By forming a crystal clear mission statement and objectives for the church and implementing clear policies and procedures for the church, the church can ensure it is fulfilling its mission and the commands of Christ and Great Commission in an organized manner, making the most efficient use of its resources (personal, physical, and financial), and that it is operating an effective ministry.<note:Robert H. Welch, Church Administration: Creating Efficiency for Effective Ministry (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman, 2005), 23–24.>
Two applications to church administration should be applied to modern ministry. First, pastors and church leaders should emphasize people over physical and financial resources. While physical and financial resources play a role in the overall picture of church administration, church administration is primarily concerned with the leading of the people of God, and the people of God should take primary emphasis in church administration. Physical and financial resources are secondary resources God has provided His church with to more effectively carry out the mission of the people of God.<note:Tidwell, Church Administration: Effective Leadership for Ministry, 35.> Second, policies and procedures should, as much as possible, derive directly from a biblical foundation. While modern society is becoming increasingly litigious, and while churches need a strong, legally-defensible set of organizational policies and procedures, ensuring these policies and procedures are grounded in the Word of God will ensure churches are carrying out the task of obedience to the commands of Christ and keeping the Bible at its necessary foundation.<note:Tidwell, Church Administration: Effective Leadership for Ministry, 23–24.Ibid., 23–24.>

About Nathan Parker

M Div Graduate, IT Consultant for Earth Networks, contributor at WeatherTogether and Focusing on the Mark Ministries, as well as anything else the Lord has in store for me! "Obey God and leave all the consequences to Him" -Charles Stanley