Church facility management is very similar to managing any other type of building or campus. The only difference is churches often use volunteer labor to help get the job done. This approach provides volunteers with opportunities to take part in the ministry while allowing the church to maintain its campus with a limited church budget.
Churches can be very busy campuses with activities going on almost daily. Whether it’s Sunday morning services, Wednesday night Bible studies, or a Saturday afternoon wedding – there is always something going on. This constant use of facilities requires coordination, planning, and scheduling to ensure all responsibilities are taken care of. Here are some tips and tools to help.
1) Church Events Calendar
Churches are very active places, so having a central calendar that lists all events is one of the first steps in effective facilities management. It’s difficult to schedule a cleaning crew to clean up after an event if the event isn’t listed on the main calendar.
There are many electronic calendars available that can help facilitate scheduling of campus space. Some can also be uploaded to the church website or mobile app for viewing by congregants
2) Cleaning Schedule
Members like to attend a church that is neat, clean and orderly. Create a schedule that has cleaning times that coincide with the church calendar. For example, it’s important to have a cleaning crew clean up and prepare the building for Sunday morning services after a Saturday afternoon wedding. An updated church calendar makes it possible to schedule and coordinate this function. Include in the calendar a weekly, monthly and annual schedule for detail cleaning like dusting blinds, cleaning air ducts, cleaning light fixtures, wiping down cabinets, etc.
Not everything needs to be cleaned daily but having a schedule for routine deep cleaning is important for keeping a facility fresh!
3) Maintenance Schedule
All buildings need to be maintained on a regular basis and a schedule helps to ensure routine maintenance is done consistently. Whether it’s changing the air filters in the HVAC units, painting high traffic areas, or sealing the parking lot, a schedule helps to ensure things get done on time.
To make a schedule, take a few people and walk the church campus, making a list of all maintenance projects. Put the list in an Excel spreadsheet and sort by frequency of maintenance. For example, sealing the parking lot may need to be done annually, painting high traffic areas quarterly, and changing air filters monthly – regardless, map out the frequency and then schedule dates for the maintenance.
4) Volunteer Work Days
A great way to get members involved is to schedule volunteer workdays a couple of times a year. This brings skilled people in to help with projects and it helps get a lot of work done very quickly.
To do this properly, make a list of projects that need to be done – change light bulbs, clean windows, power-wash sidewalks, rake out flowerbeds, etc. , then make task lists with needed supplies to get the job done.
Organized and intentional event planning is key. If done well, it can be a great experience for volunteers and can help get a lot of projects off the maintenance task list. Add a fellowship lunch afterward and you have provided an opportunity for people to get to know each other while getting a lot accomplished.
5) Safety Training
Whether it’s church employees or volunteers helping with maintenance tasks, safety training is important. Training on simple things like proper use of cleaning chemicals, ladders, or power equipment is essential to ensuring a safe event – and one that’s free from injuries.
We often make assumptions that people know how to use equipment or power tools safely. In doing so, we put them at risk of injury. Identify experts and ask them to help with training to ensure a pleasant and safe experience for employees and volunteers
6) Landscape Maintenance
Most churches have some sort of outdoor landscaping, so having a plan to groom the exterior by cutting grass, trimming bushes, and cleaning out flower beds is an important part of keeping a campus sculpted and appealing.
Volunteers may be available to help with a lot of the projects that need to be done on the outside of a building. Use the ladies’ group to plant flowers in the spring and volunteer workdays to trim bushes and clean out flowerbeds. This can provide great volunteer opportunities while keeping the campus looking great.
Keeping church buildings and campuses neat, orderly, and maintained is one way to show excellence in the church. Planning, scheduling, and coordinating routine tasks simplifies the process and gets others involved in helping to maintain the church campus.