One of the most time-consuming but important aspects of running a church is church property management. Everything from running routine church maintenance around the premises to various facility management procedures, it is all so crucial to keeping your church in tip-top shape to continue being the spiritual home for your congregation.
I’ll be the first to admit that church property management is the least exciting part of a job in ministry, but someone has to be the one to clean the bathrooms, restock supplies, and ensure the floral decorations are fresh.
It’s a mostly thankless job but one that I did for many years as part of my responsibilities. Here are some of the tips and tricks I learned during my time maintaining a church.
- What Is Church Property Management?
- How To Do Church Facility Management: 6 Considerations
- 12 Tips For Church Property Management & Maintenance
What Is Church Property Management?
For starters, let’s talk about what exactly your church property management even is. The property of your church is anything and everything that you own. It’s the land your church building is built on, the other facilities that are connected to it, the parking lot, any signs you have, and everything else that falls within this zone.
Facility management has to do with maintaining all of the premises, both outdoors and indoors. Every single room, bathroom, office, chair, computer, equipment, and everything else should be properly repaired and checked to ensure that they are up to date and ready for each service and event you do.
Church property management includes a variety of different roles and hats you have to wear, from plumber to electrician to even IT. There is a lot involved in this process, which is why it is so overwhelming for many churches. This is especially the case the larger your church is and the more church plants you have.
Who Is Responsible For Property Management In The Church?
At the end of the day, not everyone wants to deal with the facility management at a church and I have seen firsthand some church leaders pass on their responsibilities to someone else (usually me, in my case) to deal with. That said, it is my belief that everyone should contribute to church property management in some way.
Every one of the full-time staff members should do their part in maintaining the church and its facilities one way or another. It is up to the church management to decide how these responsibilities are divided up, but it should be a team process.
The best churches I ever served at had pastors and leaders who were not against unclogging a toilet when necessary. We had a motto at one of the churches I worked at where “if you see a problem, fix it.” Don’t wait for someone else to do it or else it likely won’t get done.
That said, there should also be dedicated janitorial, construction, and repair teams that you have set up at your church. There should be staff who clean the facilities every day and week, and keep plumbers, electricians, painters, security, and the like on call so you can contact them at a moment’s notice for emergencies.
Volunteers can help with church property management, but be sure to have your church staff members ready to tackle mopping, sweeping, and restocking anytime it’s necessary.
How To Do Church Facility Management: 6 Considerations
There is so much to consider when it comes to church property management that it can be quite overwhelming to tackle.
Instead of stumbling around, fixing stuff whenever you see an issue, here are the six main areas of your church you need to keep an eye on at all times if you wish to maintain a gorgeous church, inside and out. This applies to both leasing and land ownership situations.
Firstly, there are your church grounds. These are the outside areas of your church which are, arguably, one of the most important but neglected parts of a church when it comes to upkeep. How your facilities look from the outside will give the first impression for any visitors who show up. Your building maintenance can affect what they think of the rest of your church.
Make sure to maintain the exterior of buildings, walkways, sidewalks, the parking lot, any parking structures you have, signs, gardens, playgrounds, and anything else that is on-site. If it is within your church’s lands, it is your church grounds, so keep it looking as vibrant and welcoming as you possibly can.
Security is a particular area where many churches mistakenly trip up, but that shouldn’t be the case in today’s age. There are clear dangers and issues in this fallen world, so ignoring that isn’t taking proper care of the Christians you’ve been given the responsibility of guiding.
To this point, security encompasses much more than just some cameras here and there. You should have a team of security guards equipped to protect and guard the premises at all hours, and you should absolutely have active eyes on every entrance to your facilities. This goes doubly so for any children or youth ministries you have.
General maintenance of your facilities is one of the broader considerations you need to have. This includes maintaining the bathrooms, lighting, internet, chairs, tables, HVAC system, and anything else you have in your church. Routine checks of these elements of your buildings is imperative to avoid major problems like flooding and unnecessary blackouts.
There is also regular cleaning you need for your church. Every week, if not every day, there should be cleaning happening everywhere in your church. Every room and office should be cleaned from top to bottom every week with no concessions. If this means getting a full-on janitorial team to tackle it all, do it.
You should also do occasional deep cleaning, too. This is one area that some churches skip out on and it eventually shows over time. While it may not be fun, make time to clean those hard-to-reach areas every couple months or so.
Equipment in your church includes computers, printers, cleaning equipment, microphones, sound systems, speakers, stage lights, and so on. There is a lot of equipment you need to run a modern church these days, and they should be maintained just like everything else.
Unfortunately, equipment like computers and the like should require dedicated maintenance from a professional who is involved in IT. This is why I always recommend hiring an IT person and building a relationship with a nice audio and tech store to have any issues fixed before services and events.
Your cleaning supplies and the like are also what you should consider. As part of your church property management, there are the various items you need to keep cleaning every week before and after services. These supplies allow you to keep your facility maintenance strong so never skimp on them.
Supplies also include things like light bulbs, toilet paper, and other items that ensure the comfort of your church members.
Have backup plans in the event you run out of stuff, but, of course, plan to avoid that with frequent shipments of supplies or by picking them up from a wholesale supplier.
12 Tips For Church Property Management & Maintenance
I spent most of my teenage and young adult years maintaining a somewhat large church so here are some of the quick tips that I learned during that time:
- Get everyone in your church involved. It builds unity between the team and doesn’t allow anyone, including the lead pastor, to feel above the rest of the congregation.
- Make use of volunteers and church members who come to help out at your church. They’re usually eager and waiting to help out in any way possible! Sometimes we left our biggest projects, such as remodeling or painting, for when they came to help.
- Church property management is perfect for recovery programs. We had a drug addiction recovery program which involved members helping out with maintenance to build strength and stay busy.
- Take full advantage of Costco, supplies companies, and the like. Make good use of your tax exemptions, too.
- Connect with local law enforcement as it is possible for them to assist with security at large events sometimes or even block off roads when necessary.
- Have cameras everywhere on your premises (inside and out) to catch anyone who might do graffiti or break in.
- Have overnight security guards, if possible, to roam the church grounds.
- Keep a detailed maintenance schedule of who cleans what and when.
- Also have a routine schedule of when you check out various equipment, such as lighting and computers, so they are always up to date.
- Remain compliant with local laws in regards to fire code and practice regular drills.
- If you have children’s ministries, connect with legal and licensing authorities, and ensure that you are up to code in all safety and sanitary measures.
- Don’t spare expenses when it comes to your cleaning equipment. Get the most powerful industrial vacuums, carpet cleaners, and so on. You’ll need them.
Organizing Your Church Is Next
Maintaining church property management is a valuable part of your church. The look of your church may not make God shine brighter on your congregation, but it will attract more people interested in finding out what you’re all about. However, it isn’t just how your church cosmetically looks but how organized it is that keeps people involved.
As such, I recommend next taking a look at what church administration is all about. Like facility management, your church admin responsibilities aren’t the most glamorous aspect of your church. That said, the effects of neglecting it are clearly felt. Find out more about what the church administration job description entails and why you need it here.