The Business of Church

Tim Parkman April 2024

Business of Church Feature Image

I know that people have looked at the way church is run and have asked the question ‘why is it not run like a business?’ or ‘you should run it like I run my business’. The reality is that the church is not a business and it should never be run that way (just do a quick google search on the subject and see the reams of blogs and books that come up supporting this argument). However, there are increasing elements of Church life that need to be done in a business like way, and maybe finding the balance is the ultimate aim here.

When I look at pastoral care, ministry, enabling others it can never be from a business perspective that says an input needs to equal an output and if it is not met, then we need to bring in a formal response or support. We first of all serve Jesus, and sometimes we see that failure is a genuine way of growing deeper, but we also need to be aware that there are many ways of being church that are counter cultural to what a business model would expect.

Businesses don’t understand working with volunteers and working with volunteers at the decision making level especially. In no way would I as minister ever demand something of our membership or pull them up if it was not done or done to a certain level. This can cause great frustration and challenge behind the scenes. We operate a model of grace

Businesses don’t understand that we cannot consolidate. What I mean is that businesses will often have a single purpose, a single market to conquer and when they have a good market share they can sit back and see this model work. The kingdom of God is always changing and the moment a church sits back and tries to ‘consolidate’ then it is failing at what it’s primary calling is. We operate a model that serves those who are not yet part of the church as our primary focus

Businesses don’t understand that caring and supporting one another is more important than output. When I worked in a business setting the only language they were interested in was KPI (Key performance Indicator) and if you did not meet those, there were warnings. For me this was highlighted when around my fathers funeral I was issued with a writing warning as my performance had dropped, (to be fair the manager issuing this was rather sheepish about it) but the Church operates on a model of pastoral care. The things that people offer to do when sometimes are not up to the standards we would want are received with love and grace as their offering. We operate a model of gifts

However, as time has gone on there are elements of the church that need to be run in a very business way. Finance and Charity status, Safeguarding, Employment of staff to name a few. These need careful skills and planning and making sure that no corners are cut and no loose ends are allowed to fray.

This is the great balance of ministering a church, knowing that there are business elements that need to happen in the background and making sure they are done well, but not allowing that business mentality to come into our church meetings, our pastoral care, our services and our general being.

Jesus did not ask Peter to build him a business, he asked him to build His church and the two are very different and neither should be run in the way of the other.


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Data Protection Policy

Under Data Protection legislation the church Charity Trustees of Saltash Baptist Church are the Data Controllers and the Church Secretary acts as our Data Protection Officer. We are collecting this information to enable the church to keep in touch with you and provide pastoral support as appropriate.

Data Protection legislation allows us to process this information as we regard it as being in the church’s legitimate interest. Your name and contact details will be entered into our church database which is held on the church office computer and cloud system which is password protected and accessed only by the Ministers, Church Secretary and Church Administrator. Your contact details will be removed from the database once you are no longer a member of the church – unless you ask to remain as one of our “church friends”. We would like to include your name and contact details in our Church Directory which will be accessible through ChurchSuite . If you are happy for your details to be included please indicate where asked to do so. You can ask for your details to be removed at any time.

To enable us to provide adequate pastoral support to you and your family, one of the Ministers may record information which may be regarded as sensitive. This information will be stored (in password protected documents) on the church computer and Cloud System but the password will only be known by the Ministers. This information will NOT be disclosed to anyone else without your consent. You have the right to ask to see any information we hold about you (including the pastoral support information) by submitting a ‘Subject Access Request’ to the Church Secretary. You also have the right to ask for information which you believe to be incorrect to be rectified. If you are concerned about the way your information is being handled please speak to our Data Protection Officer. If you are still unhappy you have the right to complain to the Information Commissioners Office.


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