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Project Management for Churches: A Short Guide

project management for churches

Project management for churches is an essential skill for church leaders.

Not convinced this is the case?

Take this short quiz to find out:

  • Do you regularly miss deadlines?
  • Are your plans consistently over budget?
  • Are your events, programs, or ministries poorly attended?
  • Is your church staff or volunteers experiencing significant stress?
  • Do you or your team burn the midnight oil every week?

Project Management for Churches: A Short Guide

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then there’s a good chance you need to brush up on your project-management skills (or learn them for the first time).

In this post, I want to help you successfully start and complete any project in your church. I’m going to share with you four essential project-management skills, and different project-management tools your church can consider.

Let’s get started!

#1. Get specific with project management for churches.

The first step to completing any project is to know exactly what you want to accomplish. In other words, you need to know what you’re aiming for.

Think about it like this.

In basic firearm safety, the first thing you must do is identify what you’re shooting. The same holds true for project management for churches. You must identify what you want to accomplish.

At this point, there are two crucial questions you need to answer:

1. What do you want to accomplish?

2. When does it need to be completed?

In answering the first question, do you want to start a small group ministry to disciple new church members? Are you interested in purchasing a portable sound system? Need to start a capital campaign to fund a new building project?

Don’t worry about all of the details—yet.

What you need to nail down is what you want to achieve.

Know what you want to accomplish?


Now you need to know when you have to complete your objective.

Some of the projects you need to complete will have a hard start and stop. Said another way, the date is inflexible. For other projects in your church, the time can be flexible.

Regardless of the project, you must pick a date it must be completed. Without a specific timeline, your project is nothing more than a dream. So, give your vision some feet and make it walk by giving it a due date.

#2. Delegate responsibility with project management for churches.

Here’s the reality of most projects:

They’re unruly like a wild stallion.

When managing a project, expect something to go wrong.

What is more, if you don’t have someone assigned to manage the project, then get ready for it to derail completely.

What’s the moral of the story?

Delegate the responsibility of managing your project.

In your church, this can be to a staff member or volunteer. Regardless of who you choose to manage a project, be sure to give him or her the authority needed to accomplish the goal.

When you assign someone this responsibility, then he or she will be able to corral the project to make sure everything stays on track.

A project manager should:

  • Create a plan
  • Oversee the project
  • Regularly communicate with everyone involved
  • Monitor the progress
  • Overcome problems

Creating a plan and monitoring the progress involve more detail. So, let’s take a more in-depth look at these two tasks.