The effective management of a church organization is crucial for the realization of its vision and goals. Besides fostering the congregation’s spiritual nourishment and growth, the church needs to experience growth that denotes desirable progress (Jackson-Jordan 77). For this reason, church leaders need to consider the demographic elements of its congregation and the overall local population to ensure that they understand the vision and mission of the church (Dreier 134).
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Situated in Manly Council, Sydney, the Zion Revival Church (ZRC) has a congregation of at least 100 Christians. In a bid to conduct its biblical and denominational roles, the church has established a culture that seeks to unite the Manly people by upholding the religious values it teaches to the believers. However, several problems including ineffective financial management and lack of experience undermine ZRC’s ability to realize its objectives and goals.
Therefore, this paper analyzes the various aspects of ZRC’s profile before identifying the issues that undermine the health of the congregation, staff members, and the community. Finally, the paper would suggest recommendations that would facilitate the healthy growth of ZRC.
The adherents at ZRC possess demographic attributes that require close contemplation for the leaders to gain a comprehensive understanding of the congregation. In this regard, the vision statement, goals, and the culture adopted by the church represent some of the key features that facilitate the collective growth and success of the believers, staff, and the community in general (Mancini 78). Therefore, analyzing the vision statement and culture of ZRC is relevant.
The Vision Statement and Goals
The vision that guides the activities of the ZRC community plays a central role in constructing their culture. The vision statement reads “A Church in the community building family, reaching the lost, restoring community, defending the weak.” Further, the church pursues the vision by standing up for God’s truth, promoting the growth of the people through the guidance of the word of God and the Holy Spirit without compromise. Overall, ZRC acknowledges Jesus Christ as God and the Lord, who would see them realize the vision the church pursues.
The vision statement communicated by ZRC aims at securing several goals that would denote the success of the institution. The church seeks to establish a profound prayer base, develop connections and care, bolster momentum, empower adherents in the ministry, build faith and empowerment, and create ministerial groups for the women, men, and youth. A church organization ought to show its concern for the people by integrating them into its vision goals. In doing so, the church promotes the attainment of spiritual goals and socio-economic success (Dorsett 97).
ZRC’s vision searches for the attainment of a community that lives in the goodness of the Lord. The platforms and vision goals that support ZRC indicate its intention of creating a culture that promotes spiritual and social growth, collectively. Importantly, every church denomination needs a vision that influences the believers to embrace a culture that bolsters its realization (Daman 112). Therefore, the culture adopted by the ZRC institution ought to ensure that it supports the vision goals that include creating a family in the wider Manly community, reaching the lost, and restoring equality in the community.
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The ZRC Culture
Christian beliefs and values should form the culture adopted by a church (Tomberlin and Bird 62). Similarly, ZRC has established a culture founded on Christian beliefs in a way that also promotes the wellbeing of the believers besides other community members. Notably, ZRC complies with the doctrinal foundations that guide the activities of Australian Cristian Churches. Importantly, the beliefs inscribed in the doctrinal values ensure all churches in Australia evangelize the same thing thereby, revealing the shared culture.
ZRC believes in a culture that builds a loving, caring, and welcoming church. In a bid to promote the culture, the religious organization upholds the doctrinal beliefs of the Church that include believing in an eternal Godhead, the Lord Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, the Holy Scriptures, and the Atonement. Furthermore, for the sake of preventing the fall of man from the influence of the Devil, the ZRC seeks to bolster a culture of uprightness besides other Christian beliefs to nourish the community spiritually.
Furthermore, the pastoral care offered by the church reinforces the loving culture adopted by ZRC. The church leaders including pastors need to portray considerable concern for the wellbeing of the believers as a way of transferring a loving culture to the members and the community as a whole ((Plueddemann 49). In this respect, the pastoral care delivered by ZRC entails healing, spiritual guidance, emotional sustenance, liberation, reconciling, and carrying the presence of Christ.
Therefore, the Church shows a strong will for realizing the vision goals that would see a developed congregation and community in the long-term. Notably, the culture embraced by ZRC favors the attainment of its goals. The goals of the church constitute constructing and reinforcing membership commitment, developing a profound prayer base, and streamlining the group ministries.
The Pastoral ministry at ZRC concentrates on several activities that aim at fulfilling the church’s vision. Some of the engagements for pastoral ministries include social gatherings, leaders’ meetings, counseling, crisis intervention, and visitation. The pastoral ministry facilitates the construction of healthy relations between the clergy and the congregation, considerably.
In a bid to foster the delivery of effective religious, social, and economic engagements, the creative ministries at ZRC concentrate on several innovative projects. The creative ministries entail music lessons, weekly rehearsals, skits and drama, Television programs, graphic design, and business support among others. The creativity of the church promotes the health of ZRC’s relations with the congregation and the local community besides empowering it.
ZRC organizes several conferences that seek to empower its congregation spiritually, socially, and economically. The conferences that have enhanced the interactive aspect of the church include the Hillsong Conference, Executive Leadership Training, Clinical Pastoral Care and Education, and National Conferences. The conferences favor the participation of the spiritual leaders, staff, congregation, and the community in general.
Leadership and Governance
The leadership and governance aspects of a given religious organization play an integral part in influencing the success of the staff, adherents, and the community (Artson 55). For this reason, ZRC clearly outlines the roles and responsibilities of each leader that facilitates the biblical, denominational, and cultural activities of the church.
As such, the top leaders that have the responsibility of spearheading the activities of the church towards the desired goals include senior elders and pastors, elders, operational directors, creative director, technical director, and the child ministry leader. Other leaders at ZRC include the business manager and public officer, health and safety officer, the floor manager, and business council members.
The leaders in a church ought to possess the necessary skills that would favor them considerably in influencing the congregation besides the local people to pursue the mission and vision of the church (Dreier 138). However, ZRC fails to realize effective governance and management of the denomination’s activities due to the issue of experience inadequacy that has undermined the productivity of the leaders. Additionally, some officials in the church lack the relevant skills required to execute specific functions. For instance, the building project initiated by ZRC has faced several management inefficacies caused by the lack of appropriate skills and experience in project management. Therefore, addressing the problem is important for enhancing the sustainability of the church (Wolf 29).
The financial element of religious operations also affects the activities of the organization. Proper financial management ensures the smooth implementation of programs such as financing evangelism missions, empowering church ministries and groups, and improving the conditions of the local people in a bid to foster development (Fearon and Mikoski 99). In this regard, the financial statements created by the church’s financial department should reveal the financial health of the organization to gauge its likelihood of realizing beneficial results to the believers and non-believers in the community (Malphurs 34).
The ZRC balance sheet as of June 2014 reveals that the church has equity of $25,992.80 as the total liabilities stood at $6,298. The financial statement portrays the healthy performance of the church given its small size. However, a closer look at the financial statements exposes the fabrication of the figures thereby, suggesting that the organization engages in poor record-keeping practices.
Furthermore, the skills inadequacy issue also gets in the financial records as a budget of $300 allocated for internet expenses was not spent given that information access and communication is important for improving the health of the church. Therefore, fostering the efficacy of the church in regard to the financial aspect is critical for its success.
Potential Problem Areas
Every church, regardless of its size, experiences problems that require the leaders, congregation, and local people to join hands and come up with suitable solutions (van Deusen Hunsinger and Latini 116). Since the church is composed of previously fallen individuals who seek to find the lost and guide them towards the Lord, Satan and his associates work tirelessly towards bringing difficulties and challenges to the church (Tomberlin and Bird 79).
The issues that affect the church negatively may span from organizational struggles to disagreements and conflicts from issues with program effectiveness to challenges with attendance (O’Brien 92). In the case of ZRC, several challenges or problems that undermine the effectiveness of the church. The problematic issues entail the poor management of financial endeavors, lack of experience, and poor record-keeping.
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Poor Management of Financial Activities
The management of financial activities that aim at bolstering the growth of ZRC is characterized by inefficiencies that jeopardize the attainment of set objectives and goals of the church. Notably, the financial needs of ministries and church organizations differ considerably with that of the business setting. Particularly, the managers ought to understand that the accounting, taxation, and financial objectives aspects of the religious group’s financial management are unique (Plueddemann 47).
Therefore, the church needs to employ an approach that suits the effective management of the mentioned aspects of financial management in the church for its projects to run smoothly (Daman 72). However, ZRC has failed to put into consideration this element thereby, giving room for errors that emanate from incompatible approaches. For this reason, the church has not realized the timely completion of its building project due to financial constraints.
Lack of Experience
The experience inadequacy problem affects the management of ZRC’s activities significantly. Inexperienced leaders and officials in a church organization could undermine the productivity of human resources since they lack the required skills to execute specific tasks (Gula 32). The problem has prompted some of the officials to provide incomplete financial records resulting in the ineffective management of the ministries’ activities.
Notably, the issue of inexperienced leadership manifests when a problematic issue arises, necessitating the wise inputs from experienced individuals. Therefore, the absence of proven leadership skills except in the case of church elders and pastors at ZRC has rendered the management and execution of different activities ineffective. Furthermore, the problem of inexperience hinders the church from fostering a mentorship culture in the church for the sake of securing the sustainability of its leadership.
Poor Record-Keeping Practices
Poor record-keeping practices in the management of ministries and churches pose a significant threat to aspects such as financial health (Welch 48). In the case of ZRC, the issue of poor record-keeping practices could emanate from the inexperienced officials or the lack of transparency while engaging in accounting processes. Notably, the fabrication and fixing of financial figures for the sake of balancing the accounting books pose a severe threat to the financial performance of the church. Thus, the accountability and transparency aspects of record-keeping play a key role in influencing the management of a religious organization implying that the failure to observe the aspects would weaken the success rate of various initiatives (Westing 33).
The ZRC congregation should have the final say regarding the management of financial activities. Besides, ascribing the responsibility for financial management to a particular individual or group, the members should also own the management processes especially, in decision-making. In doing so, the whole church assumes the responsibility for ensuring the effective management of its financial endeavors. Similarly, the approach would foster the responsibility and integrity of leaders such as the business manager and the business council members. Furthermore, encouraging the participation of the congregation and the local people in Manly would provide the best solutions and resources for solving the emerging issues that prompt financial constraints besides enforcing checks and balances at every phase.
The management of the church should consider integrating young and old believers in the leadership of the church activities. In so doing, the inexperienced individuals holding key church positions would learn from the approaches employed by experienced leaders including elders and senior pastors. Similarly, the elders among other senior officials in the church would adopt the new and creative strategies that come with the inexperienced fellows. The approach would ensure that the inexperienced and unskilled church officials honor the past, take advantage of the present, and stay humble while executing their roles and functions.
The church should consider assigning qualified and experienced individuals to execute the record-keeping roles in the organization. A professional approach to record-keeping endeavors would also cultivate the essence of transparency and accountability in the management of the church processes to ensure the smooth attainment of its targets. Additionally, proper record-keeping procedures would bolster the confidence and cooperation of the leaders, staff, congregation, and the local people. Furthermore, the qualified and experienced experts would inspire the young individuals in the church to embrace accountability in their endeavors by keeping good records thereby, leading to a better performance of the church projects.
The effective management of churches and ministries besides other religious organizations needs to consider several aspects of its operations within a particular area. The demographics including the elements of income levels among other issues require the church’s consideration to improve its relations with the local community. The vision statement plays a crucial function in guiding the activities of the church as it integrates the Christian beliefs to bring the goodness of the Lord to the people.
Furthermore, ZRC adopted a culture that upholds the essence of spreading the love of God equally without discrimination. The pastoral roles in the church continue spreading the culture as demonstrated by the pastoral care program. However, the poor management of the financial matters in the church has raised concerns over the sustainability of the church. In this light, ZRC ought to consider the recommendations that address the problems including poor management, inexperience, and poor record-keeping.
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