Smart Church Solutions_Event Management is NOT the same as Facility Management

Wait, I thought church event management and church facility management were the same thing. Are they not?

Words mean things. Words are a critical part of our understanding of the world around us. Our definitions of words we use will influence our thinking and interpretation of these very words. As a society, we have also become numb to using certain words and terms of generalities for certain products, services, and interactions.

For example, we tell people to “Google” information…but what if someone uses Bing or another search engine other than Google?

For years, I would ask my team to make a Xerox of something, but the truth is, we had a Minolta copier. You can’t make a Xerox on a Minolta…you can make a copy, but not a Xerox.

Get my point?

The Disconnect

What we have found is a very similar conundrum within the church software world and maybe even in church administration parties. The confusion appears to be unique to the church world and not any other market segment. We are not sure if this is just confusion or a lack of understanding. Either way, there is a disconnect we believe is far more significant than just a misuse of words.

In the church management software world, the term “Facility Management” is unfortunately synonymous with “Event Management.” In fact, it is not just synonymous, the term Facility Management means event management. However, that could not be further from reality. The truth is that managing the USE of the facility (i.e. Event Management) is only a very small part of what Facility Management requires.

In the secular markets, Facility Management nearly always refers to maintenance, preventive maintenance, asset management, life cycle planning, etc. It refers to the 100% required management of the physical facility, not just how it is used.

Church Event Management vs. Church Facility Management

Let me break this down for you further with a list of terms to help with the critical differentiation:

EVENT MANAGEMENT (Also referred to as “event scheduling”, “resource scheduling”, and “facility scheduling”):

  • Systematic planning for the use and utilization of the spaces within the facility
  • Scheduling conflict avoidance
  • Planning of the use of needed resources for said uses such as tables, chairs, etc.
  • Addressing the setup and potential cleaning associated with said events
  • Potential rental and outside group usage scheduling

FACILITY MANAGEMENT (Also referred to as “Computerized Maintenance Management System” or “CMMS”):

  • Addressing Corrective Maintenance issues (Break/Fix)
  • Work Order Management
  • Planning for and implementing Preventive Maintenance measures
  • Vendor Management
  • Asset and Equipment Management
  • Life Cycle Planning for Capital Renewals
  • Inventory Management (Consumable and Repair)

Do you see the difference? One only manages the USE while the other manages the physical components of the facility.  

Facility Management is King

Which is more important? That is a great question! We would contend that both are important, but Facility Management is CRITICAL. 

Why, you may ask? It is simple. If your facilities are not maintained and functioning as they are intended, then you may not need to plan the use and utilization of them. We are unfortunately seeing this more and more.

As we perform Facility Condition Assessments, we are seeing many churches with spaces within their facility that are no longer safe, clean, or acceptable for the use of the congregation or outside groups. The buildings and spaces have not been properly maintained and, in turn, the deferred maintenance has rendered them less functional.

So, if your Church Management Software (ChMS) only provides you with an Event Management solution, regardless what they call it, you are only addressing a very small element of what is real church Facility Management, or what we refer to as FACILITY STEWARDSHIP. 

But, You Need Both

Please hear me…we are not saying you do not need Event Management.  You do. But being myopic in your facility stewardship is like only addressing the seats in your car and totally neglecting oil changes, fan belts, tires, and brakes. At some point, your car will let you down if not maintained, and so will your ministry facility.

The reality is Event Management and Facility Management is a BOTH/AND scenario and not an EITHER/OR. If you do not already have a true church Facility Management software solution, contact our team to learn how you can take the initial steps to properly steward what God has entrusted to you.