The Many Sides of Administration

In church management, sometimes pastors follow directives. But we also motivate people, set goals, organize, and initiate. To put it another way, a good pastor-administrator is a good leader.
—Arthur DeKruyter

Early in my ministry, I attended a social gathering in an elder's home. I had just begun thinking about the importance of the pastor's administrative role, and during the evening's conversation, I expressed some of my ideas.

The elder, who happened to be a sharp businessman and a good manager, temporarily forgot most of his own rules for dealing with people. "Never forget that you're working for the church," he informed me in the presence of his peers and mine. "Your job is to carry out the church's directives. Remember, we're paying your salary."

I still feel the sting of those words.

As time passed, however, I noticed that the churches accomplishing things were led by pastors who were, in fact, good administrators—they followed the will of the people, but they also helped shape the ...

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