Issue 88 of Administration Matters

Protect your church’s operating reserve

A well-designed contingency plan for a congregation maintains an operating reserve to cover the church’s expenses for at least four months should it experience difficulties and its income be drastically reduced. >More

Know when to retain or discard synod or congregational records

Congregations and synods must know which records and information they should keep and which can be removed. Some records need to be maintained permanently; others can be discarded periodically. >More for Synods. >More for Congregations.

Church building redesigned with MIF loan

Zumbro Lutheran Church in Rochester, Minn., had a “strong desire to redesign its space to be welcoming, leaning into downtown,” recalls the congregation’s directing pastor, the Rev. Rob Zahn. The Mission Investment Fund, a financial ministry of the ELCA, provided a loan for a redesigned sanctuary — with a stunning new cross and baptismal font — that is flexible enough to serve multiple purposes. New office space supports the work of several ministry partners operating in Rochester.

Why feedback matters

Critique, one might say, is critical to growth, particularly for those in ministry. “Critique is a key component of our staff culture,” writes one pastor on the Lifeway Research website. When you ask for feedback, you show that you are not only teachable and open to improvement but also humble, something Colossians 3:12 encourages us to be.

Portico Benefit Services recognizes the importance of active listening. Its new feedback platform, Portico Voices, was created to gather feedback from plan members and sponsoring employers so that it might improve its products and services. If you receive an email inviting you to join, and become part of the Portico Voices community, please consider signing up!

Five ways to keep your building secure

Every organization would like to believe its facility is safe from crime, but plenty of details can get overlooked when you develop a security plan for your building. There are many elements to crime prevention, but we have developed a list of steps to keep your building secure. >More

10 points to cover in volunteer orientation

The beauty of a church community is the abundance of committed people with a passion for helping the church achieve its vision and mission. Volunteers drive the church by donating the hours required to ensure that everything gets done. Many people use the volunteer experience to get to know other church community members. Creating a well-run program ensures a great experience for those volunteers, and a structured orientation process prepares them for their new responsibilities. >More