Be Prepared: A Church Facility Stewardship Lesson

by | Facilities, Operations

How many of you have ever watched the Tournament of Roses Parade on New Year’s Day? Year after year, I would watch this in preparation for the Rose Bowl and college football.

Around the time of World War II, the theme of the parade was “Be Prepared,” according to my research. Ironically, I learned something about the parade that made me scratch my head a bit. The float created by the Standard Oil Company (now known as Chevron) ran out of gas. 


How about that? If there was one float that should not have run out of gas, it was that one. Standard Oil Company should have had plenty of gas to keep the float alive.

The directors of the float had done everything right, except they neglected to avail themselves of their company’s vast resources of oil. Because of this mishap, the parade was put on hold while someone ran to get a gallon of gas. 

How could one of the world’s largest oil and gasoline companies arrive unprepared to properly fuel its vehicle? A vehicle with its name (and reputation) plastered all over it with freshly cut roses.

Be Prepared

While this story is something we can all laugh at, it is a humble reminder. As church facility managers, it is our job to steward what we have been entrusted with before we parade it for the world to see. 

All gas tanks should be full, and everything should be working together like a well-oiled machine. To help, below are a few questions you and your team can ask yourselves to see how much gas is in your tank: 

Are we prepared for facility staffing?

Did you know you need 1 FTE maintenance person for every 35,000 square feet of facilities?

Do we know the condition of the facility?

How well are you maintaining your facility and how much-deferred maintenance do you have?

Are we prepared for the inevitable capital renewals?

Capital renewals (i.e. replacing items that have reached the end of their life cycle) are not “if” discussions but rather a “when” and “how much” conversation.

Are we prepared for the next generation of facility stewards?

If your current facility manager or facility director were to retire or quit tomorrow, are you prepared to fill their role?

Are we prepared to address daily work orders?

How are you identifying, organizing, assigning, and fulfilling all of the tasks and work orders that need to be done daily, weekly, and monthly?

Are we prepared to address recurring Preventive Maintenance?

Preventive Maintenance can be your number one defense against expensive repairs or system outages.

Are we prepared for new technological advancements in our facilities?

The world is constantly changing, and the world of technology is quickly being incorporated into facility management systems. This is only going to be accelerated with the furthering of the “Internet of Things.”

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