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For years now you have heard me talk about Facility Stewardship. I have hounded you all with the concept that our facilities were entrusted to us by God to steward over…just like money. I am a firm believer in this concept as a physical and spiritual principle, reality and mandate. Period.

So….what is your Facility Stewardship Plan? If you have been blessed to have facilities (remember, we are not “entitled” to our ministry facilities…they are a gift to be used to facilitate worship, education, discipleship and reaching people far from God) then what is your plan to maintain them….set up reserves…”green up” the facility….reduce operational costs…etc?

If you are considering a new building program, do even know the physical and functional condition/obsolescence of your existing facilities? Is your current usage at a maximum of efficiency and a minimum of operational expenditures?

If you cannot answer affirmative to all/any of the above…then you need to take a step back… pause and take stock of the condition of the existing tools that have been entrusted to you. Make sure you have a firm baseline of their condition, long term outlook, projected capital expenditures, functional obsolescence issues…and general well being and maintenance of the facilities. Here is a list of the minimum items that should be evaluated:

  1. Review of all current facility expenses and budgets and benchmarking.
  2. Review of  agreements with current vendors providing service associated with the facilities.
  3. Discuss the effectiveness of the above vendors and make adjustments in accordance with your vision for the future.
  4.  Analyze the effectiveness/efficiency of the current church facilities staff and make adjustments as deemed appropriate. Evaluate the current staff against the needs of the church and other options for completing their tasks.
  5. Evaluate facilities overall condition and care (“10,000 Foot View” – High Level).
  6. Review current room set up procedures and make adjustments, if any.
  7. Work with church facility manager/staff to review janitorial and landscape/exterior care items including “green” initiatives, potential maintenance/repair issues, quantify obvious Life Cycle cost issues, and Energy Management issues and make steps to improve in this area.
  8. Review preventive maintenance program for the  facility.
  9. Review capital reserve account for major repairs and replacement costs…run the calculator to make sure you have adequate monies allocated.
  10. Verify that there is a system and methodology to allow the pastoral staff and ministry leaders to focus on ministry and not the facilities.
  11. Develop a systematic painting plan.
  12. Review the usage and scheduling of the facilities and how this is managed….remember…these tools were to be used….but it must be managed.

In addition to the above, consider cataloging all of the major system components including manufacturer, model, serial number, etc. of all of the systems, equipment and components of the facility and the key assets that keep the church functioning week in and week out.

The above items are all very important to have a firm grasp of and to understand how these factor into a proactive and sustainable Facility Stewardship Plan. Do not put this off…start this year and see how being diligent in these things can save you time and money. If you need assistance with these efforts, feel free to contact us or visit our RESOURCES to see some of the tools available to you to get this done.

One specific tool you will benefit from is our FACILITY STEWARDSHIP MANUAL. You can download this nearly 300 page manual HERE.

I think this translation puts it well of Luke 12:48:

“But someone who does not know, and then does something wrong, will be punished only lightly. When someone has been given much, much will be required in return; and when someone has been entrusted with much, even more will be required.”

We are no longer ignorant of what needs to be done to steward what God has entrusted to us…so let’s do our part.

Tim Cool
Chief Executive Officer
Tim Cool is the President and CEO of Smart Church Solutions and takes great pride in helping churches optimize their facilities. When he’s not at the helm of his company, he’s dedicated to his family, being a husband to Lisa and a father to 27-year-old triplets. An enthusiast of the outdoors, Tim enjoys the simplicity of hiking in the North Carolina mountains.