One of the many duties of the executive pastor is to “project manage” most of the big events and other key efforts of the church. These “key efforts” can include capital campaigns, facilities construction, major events, church planting, major international missions projects, and sometimes even the planning and design of the Sunday morning experience.
So, what is “Project Management?” It’s a “facilitation” role in any major effort that helps to ensure success. The project manager evaluates the effort and works with the team to break it down into its different but related parts. Every major effort involves a series of tasks and milestones that have to be completed or crossed. Determining what the sequence of completion is and what resources are required as well as the relationship between tasks helps the team to get everything accomplished on time. Thus the project is completed well and the goal is accomplished, at least better than it would have happened without the project manager.
My experience in corporate included many project management assignments. For the most part, I’ve always used Microsoft Project as a tool to help a team complete a project. Of course, there are many other tools available as well. Now that I’m a Mac user, I’ve explored other applications and have pretty much landed on Liquid Planner.
The executive pastor works with the staff on almost any cross-functional effort. By cross-functional I mean an effort that involves the senior pastor and every ministry leader as well as support staff to accomplish. Obviously project management can be applied within a ministry area and it’s helpful if a ministry leader has some skill or experience in this area. The executive pastor as a leader should teach project management to staff leaders as part of his or her leadership development responsibilities.