The art of working for and through people.

Good management principles, far from being restricted to the business community, can play an important role in the church and in Christian organizations. Good church management by clergy and lay officials enables the church to establish and carry out its mission. Management involves both organizational and spiritual leadership, and it requires that leaders work through and with people to achieve the group’s goals and purposes.

Why Worry About Management?

Why should Christian workers be interested in management? I can think of several reasons. First, management is a powerful teaching tool. Through management one’s teaching and preaching take on visible, corporate form. When people listen to a sermon on stewardship of time and resources, they hear what the pastor says; when they observe the way the pastor structures and leads the officers and committees, they see what he or she means. The difference is significant: people remember only about 25 percent of what they hear, but about 70 percent of what they see. In other words, what you do thunders so loudly in my ears that I can’t hear what you say. Management is one way of fleshing out our theology so that people can see as well as hear the Word of God.

Second, Christian leaders should be interested in management because a rapidly changing environment requires new procedures in order for the church to be effective. Before his death in 1947, Alfred North Whitehead said, “The rate of change in our time is so swift that an individual of ordinary length of life will be called upon to face novel situations which have no parallel in the past. The fixed person for the fixed duties who in the old society was such a godsend will in the future be ...

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