CHURCH ADMINISTRATION – GENERAL MANUALS
Part of resources for church leaders, with emphasis on Church Administration
- General Manuals: Theological, Theoretical and Pastoral Foundations – First Reads
- General Manuals: Administrative Tasks – First Reads
- General Manuals: Other Good Resources
- General Manuals: Emphasis on Organizing, Planning, Goal-Setting
- General Manuals: Seasoned Advice
- Related Ministry Resources
**Resources are listed in recommended order, unless alphabetical
These ministry resources are the standard, general manuals on Christian leadership in church administration. These are the single-volume comprehensive tools that do not focus on one area church administration, but attempt to give baseline instruction on all administrative tasks. Each has its respective strengths.
General Church Administration Manuals, Theological and Pastoral Foundations – First Reads
Theological Foundations for Church Administration: Robert N. Bacher and Michael L. Cooper-White, Church Administration: Programs, Process, Purpose (Theology and the Sciences) — Good on Christian leadership and church administration generally, but is unmatched at the integration of theology and spiritual formation relative to congregational management.
Theoretical Foundations for Church Administration: John W. Wimberley, Jr., The Business of the Church: The Uncomfortable Truth that Faithful Ministry Requires Effective Management – Uniquely interprets church administration tasks through emotional systems theory.
Pastoral Foundations for Church Administration: Louis B. Weeks, All for God’s Glory: Redeeming Church Scutwork – Insists that church administration be seen as pastoral care, and provides insight on how to engage it so as to open and deepen pastoral relations. Argues that effective execution of day-to-day details builds the trust that is essential to the care of souls.
General Church Administration Manuals, Administrative Tasks – First Reads
- Michael J. Anthony and James Estep, Jr., Editor, Management Essentials for Christian Ministry — Among the general guides on church administration, best on organizational leadership and planning. Great section on five budgeting models and six stages of budget development. Good templates.
- Otto Crumroy, Stan Kukawka, and Frank Witman, Church Administration and Finance Manual: Resources for Leading the Local Church — Among the general guides on church administration, best on financial stewardship – church giving campaigns, handling contributions, financial reporting, budgeting, church accounting, disbursements, capital planning (wills, endowments, memorials, etc.), cash management, tax reporting, etc. Good templates.
- Bruce L. Petersen, Edward A. Thomas, Bob Whitesel, Editors, Foundations of Church Administration: Professional Tools for Church Leadership — A collection of articles offering sound theological and theoretical perspective on virtually all church administration tasks.
- Bruce P. Powers, Editor, Church Administration Handbook, 3rd Edition – The best overall practical manual. Handles each topic adequately enough for introductory exposure. Many templates and forms. Among the general guides, best on personnel. Good templates.
General Church Administration Manuals – Other Good Resources:
- Robert H. Welch, Church Organization Manual: Policies and Procedures for the Local Church — Published by National Association of Church Business Administrators. A collection of ready-to-use, adaptable, administrative templates on typical areas of church management.
- Peter C. Brinckerhoff, Faith-Based Management: Leading Organizations That Are Based on More than Just a Mission — Part of Brinckerhoff’s extensive Mission-Based Management Series. Good insight into effective board/staff relations, staff management, financial stewardship, leadership, marketing, vision/planning, and working with volunteers.
- Christianity Today, Phyllis Tenelshof, The Church Leader’s Answer Book: A Reference Guide for Effective Ministry— An encyclopedia of church administration and leadership, with emphasis on administration. Helpful tips from experienced church leaders on variety of areas. Select the articles needed.
- Floyd Flake, Elaine Flake, and Edwin Reed, African American Church Management Handbook — Addresses unique dynamics of church administration for African-American contexts.
General Church Administration Manuals, Emphasis on Organizing, Planning, Goal-Setting, etc.
- Kenneth O Gangel, Feeding and Leading: Practical Handbook on Administration for Churches and Christian Organizations – Not a comprehensive church administration manual, but especially good at integrating spirituality and servant-leadership in areas such as organizing, goal-setting, planning, volunteers, change, motivating, delegating, team-building, decision-making, communicating, chairing business meetings, conducting evaluations, etc.
- Aubrey Malphurs, Ministry Nuts and Bolts: What They Don’t Teach Pastors in Seminary, 2nd Edition– An excellent volume on how to lead a church through the process of deriving what is often referred to as “corporate core content” or values, mission, vision, and strategic planning. Supplements Malphurs’ Advanced Strategic Planning.
- David Pollock, Business Management in the Local Church. Revised and Updated —Not the strongest manual, but a good supplement in the area of finances and facilities.
- Essential Managers Series -This is a European-produced set of guides to all areas pertaining to leadership and management. Not church-related, and may not be top consults for church leaders, but the checklists, charts, diagrams, and bullet-lists may simplify common administrative tasks.
General Church Administration Manuals – Seasoned Advice
- James D. Berkley, Leadership Handbook for Management and Administration. Revised and Expanded Edition — A collection of articles that provide not such much how-to’s as time-honored wisdom and perspective on administrative issues. Select the articles needed. Unique feature on personal management (ministry call, ethics, family, time management, personal finances) and ministry transitions.
- Don Cousins, Leith Anderson, and Arthur DeKruyter, Mastering Church Management. Thomas Nelson, 1991.
- R. Robert Cueni, What Ministers Can’t Learn in Seminary.
- Robert H. Welch, Church Administration: Creating Efficiency for Effective Ministry — Discusses the principles of good administration with many stories of actual situations faced by congregations.
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