The 2016 ICOC Nigeria Administrator’s Training – Building Character and Integrity
No fewer than 30 church administrators from all across the Nigerian churches participated in a One-Day training in Lagos on Sunday 16 October, 2016, aimed at building spiritual character and integrity among church administrators.
The event started at exactly 10am with a Communion service led by the lead evangelist, Chris Ogbonnaya. He welcomed the administrators and praised their hard work and resourcefulness in administering God’s church. From the scriptures (Romans 12:3-8), he encouraged them to continue to be functional as they use their gifts to edify the body of Christ as being an administrator is a gift and needs to be done humbly.
He also called their attention to be careful of being prideful about being talented and gifted as it’s all about the grace of God.
The main speaker at the event was Paul Ramsey, Executive Director of Africa Missions Associations and also the Financial Administrator of the Columbia Church of Christ, Columbia USA.
Citing from Matthew 28, he opened our minds to understand that *nations* as mentioned in the passage relatively means *peoples group* and not necessarily a country. The goal is beyond nations.
Using the biblical characters of Joseph (Gen. 39:1-6) and Daniel (Daniel 6) as examples, he challenged the administrators to emulate the examples of these men as this was the core values of an administrator. Joseph and Daniel were perfect examples on how God rewards integrity in administration, despite the challenges they both faced in their administration. They both did their jobs excellently but were mistreated by people. Ramsey encouraged the administrators to that their motivation should not be to please people but God and also said that a church’s success or failure hinges on properly administering the finances and organizational aspects of ministry.
Everything Joseph touched in Egypt turned to ‘gold’ because God was in the picture, God’s hands were on him. As a slave, he could have compromised with Potiphar’s wife but he mostly based his judgement on the fear of God. The most important tool as an administrator of the church is to be a person of character and integrity, a person above reproach.
He revealed that Daniel had special gifts as he served under five different kings and distinguished himself among other administrators by his exceptional qualities. Even his enemies could find no corruption in him because he was trustworthy and neither corrupt nor negligent (Daniel 6:1-5)
Ramsey pointed out that both Joseph and Daniel had one special gift, the ability to interpret dreams and besides being a person of character and integrity, an administrator should also be a dream interpreter. Their roles and responsibilities is to help the dreamers (church leaders) to interpret their dreams by providing the resources and advice. Sometimes those dreams may not be visible or doable but the administrator should strive to make the dream doable. An administrator should help make dreams achievable.
SOME ATTRIBUTES OF A SUCCESSFUL CHURCH ADMINISTRATOR
There are many responsibilities that belong to the administrator while the church leader is watching the sheep.
The administrator is the business version of the biblical “watchman on the wall.” Listed below are some of the key roles and functions of a successful administrator:
- The administrator protects the ministry. He or she protects the church by making sure there is fiscal accountability. There should never be a question about how money is handled. He or she also protects the church by training the staff in how to handle the congregation and their peers.
- The administrator protects the church leader.
- The administrator is not called to be a church leader or preacher. Those functions are left to others. If an administrator is inspired to be a preacher, let him do that instead.
- The administrator represents the church to the general public. Most churches will find themselves dealing with the general public, Government etc. The church administrator should be well versed in these areas so that he or she can properly represent the church.
- The administrator must be spiritually mature and walk in integrity and honesty. The Bible says, “The integrity of the upright will guide them” (Prov. 11:3, NKJV). The Lord will guide the administrator who walks in integrity and honesty.
- The administrator is always doing his or her job, even when the congregation is worshiping. Even when you are having a service, and the congregation is in the midst of praise and worship, the church administrator is constantly looking out into the congregation for any problems or unusual actions that may create a disturbance.
- The administrator lifts the weight of the organization off the shoulders of the church leader so he can focus on the spiritualty of the congregation. The administrator also takes care of facilities management, to ascertain that the building or meeting venue is being maintained efficiently.
- He or she also oversees the volunteer auxiliary department. The administrator deals with conflict resolution when there is an issue between staff members that affects job performance. The administrator also takes care of all bank negotiations when dealing with new acquisitions, loans and other services.
- The administrator may not have all the educational credentials or many years of experience; however, if he or she is people-oriented, loves the church and is a loyal, committed, servant-leader to the church leader, then you have a true church administrator.
Administration in the 21st-century church is critical for running an effective ministry. The role of an administrator in today’s church is important and essential, whether it’s on a volunteer, part-time or full-time basis. The church administrator’s job is a tremendous task, and it should be taken on by someone who is willing to make sacrifices, of sound spiritual character and a person of integrity.