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Our Calendar Now vs Then

In the first article of our mini church management series, Gavin looks at how the church calendar has changed over the last 25 years.

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Our Calendar Now vs Then

In the first article of our mini church management series, Gavin looks at how the church calendar has changed over the last 25 years.

Our Calendar Now vs Then

In the first article of our mini church management series, Gavin looks at how the church calendar has changed over the last 25 years.

The change in our church calendars over the past 25 years has been significant from the traditional church model. I remember when I was younger lots of churches would have their prayer meetings on a Monday night, Bible study on Wednesday night and youth club was always Friday. I am sure there are many pastors who look back to those days with fond memories; there were fewer distractions and the work of ministry behind the scenes had both a routine and simplicity to it. The demands of administration on the pastor were straight forward and much of the work was easily managed with support from volunteers.

 

The work of ministry behind the scenes is now more complex, diverse and ever increasing.  Church calendars are now filled with multiple ministries, projects that serve every possible cross section of our community. To illustrate, here is a list of the ministry programmes lots of churches would normally run over the course of an average year:

·        Mums and toddlers

·        Children’s ministry on a Sunday morning

·        Youth ministries

·        Student ministries

·        Singles ministries

·        Marriage courses

·        Parenting seminars

·        Discipleship programmes

·        Men’s breakfasts

·        Book clubs

·        Gospel communities or small groups

·        Reading the bible together

 

On top of all this work, the church is called to reach out with the gospel and serve the community around us, so it runs numerous outreach projects. The church is now organising foodbanks, nightshelters for the homeless, offering debt and money management support; we run Alpha courses, Christianity explored, coffee mornings, visitors Sunday’s, church BBQ’s and community fairs. The church is a venue for local interest groups, we hire out our buildings for conferences and community events. The list is endless, and the variety is incredible.  

Is it any wonder that many church leaders are experiencing high stress levels and are leaving the ministry feeling like failures? Struggling to get the time to primarily fulfil their God-given calling to spend time in the word and prayer, Pastors are being called upon to organise church policy, manage budgets and financial controls, fundraise, oversee risk management and co-ordinate and train volunteers, the list goes on and on. Not only has the work behind the scenes developed but there is a growing expectation on church leaders to deliver a full and vibrant ministry. Unfortunately, burnout and the loss of gospel preachers is inevitable.

The church is in need of deacons, executive pastors, church administrators, church managers… the title is less important, but the function is vital. We need excellent support staff and volunteers functioning with the range of gifts to serve the church in areas of leadership, finance, administration, organisation, facilities management, managing volunteers while keeping our churches safe and legal.  It’s easy to recognise the changing church culture and we can all see the symptoms when things go wrong but the question is, are we going to do anything about it?  

Gavin Smith
Gavin Smith
Gavin serves as the Church Administrator for Christchurch, Newport, a role he has been in for the last 17 years. He is passionate about the gospel and strengthening the church by supporting the work that happens behind the scenes.

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