Let me start with this: if your church has its own private church building, you are extremely blessed. A church building is so much more than just a building. It's a house of worship and a place of community and connection. It is truly an asset for a church community!
In order for a church to continue playing the important role it does in our lives, the church building must be maintained. Like every building facility, churches need proper care, regular upkeep, consistent property management, and future planning. And while I do agree that the church facility or building is just a tool, it's still an important tool that requires care and facility stewardship.
In this article I will talk about:
- What Is Church Facility Management?
- What Do Church Facility Managers Do?
- Church Facility Management Guidelines & Tips
- Church Facility Management Software
What Is Church Facility Management?
In the simplest terms, church facility management is the act of keeping the church building properly maintained both with regular day to day maintenance and when the church is being rented or used for community events or other large or small groups.
It's about being proactive and regularly maintaining the safety of a building as well as the custodial needs.
What Do Church Facility Managers Do?
A church facility manager, or a director of facilities, is an extremely important job. Especially if you have a church building that is rented out a lot for community events. It's not just about changing light bulbs or emptying out garbage cans.
The church facilities manager is a very visible part of the church body. Granted, the job description may vary, depending on the size of the staff and congregation. Generally, it involves planning and organizing maintenance schedules, vetting and hiring contractors, and having backup plans in place for things like power outages.
The facility manager should be a good “people person”. Whether it's delegating responsibilities to a church volunteer, working with hired contractors in the community, or working with those who have rented the building, they must be able to clearly communicate and develop a good rapport.
They must be able to provide good communication around executing work projects or figuring out deadlines. The facilities manager will be involved in crafting a budget from which to maintain the facilities and any facility use. They are also expected to keep accurate records of expenses and maintenance.
Church Facility Management Guidelines & Tips
Church facility managers should all have detailed guidelines and checklists for all facility needs. This will help organize and simplify the process. Here are some quick tips for effective facility management.
The church facility is not only used for the church community, and is often rented out for community events and celebrations. This is why it's important that when the church building is being rented out facility rental agreements are in place.
The agreement outlines the expectations of property owners (the church), and the organization renting the building. It should clarify the rules, cleaning expectations, and any other duties that should be done when renting the building.
Here is a great source for seeing what legalities should be included in rental agreements as well. This should not be taken as legal advice; always make sure to consult with a lawyer before using any legal documents or agreements.
Click here for a church rental agreement template you can customize for your church.
Regular Church Cleaning & Maintenance
Church buildings are often high-traffic areas with many people coming through, even during the week. This is why it is so important to keep the building clean. This is also a great way to honor your congregation. You want to be able to provide them a safe and healthy building that they can enjoy every week.
A church maintenance checklist is a great way to provide an outline for your facilities manager. It will provide guidance on areas to cover and accountability on the frequency of checking the building.
Having an effective cleaning and maintenance schedule will not only help keep your church looking good but will help you address all the building needs in a timely manner. Making sure nothing is missed.
Look For The Preventative
A lot of church maintenance costs can come from the unexpected: a roof leak, the HVAC system breaking, or a family of raccoons taking residence in the roof. These are things that can greatly disrupt the church when they break down. Regularly inspecting the systems of the church building and having plans for replacement will help alleviate the surprise costs.
Allow Volunteers The Opportunity To Serve
Let's be honest, one of the greatest things about church communities is having an active community! Church members love to serve, and getting church volunteers involved with cleaning or landscaping will give them a greater sense of purpose and involvement.
Maybe you plan a big church clean up 2-3 times a year where you tackle the landscaping, and parking lot, and a huge deep clean of the building.
I have many fond memories of the big church clean-up days. Food and coffee were brought in and it really strengthened the sense of community and family. Also, it can help save the church some money.
Church Facility Management Software
Like most software, software for facility management is meant to increase efficiency and effectiveness for your team.
Software is not your enemy, instead, it should be something you welcome and embrace. Think of it like a helping friend or an ally. It can help with work order management, scheduling preventive maintenance tasks, creating a maintenance plan, and tracking the costs of labor or inventory!
If you don't know where to start, take a look at this article on the 10 best church facility management software.
Final Thoughts On Facility Managers
If the idea of having a facility maintenance manager seems foreign to you, you are not alone. The reality is, a lot of churches either rely on volunteers or a facilities team to help with building maintenance and cleaning, and I have also seen it being part of the job description of the church administrator.
If you do have a church facility manager, may I implore you to not think of them as the lowest position, and the first to get cut if the budget gets too tight. The facilities manager is someone who is stewarding a lot of assets, and it needs to be a highly valued position.
Your facilities manager is just as critical to your ministry as your children’s pastor or worship pastor. They do not hold a lesser value than your church leaders.
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