PM ME, Please!

Ok, coming up on the churches calendar we have a remodel of the children's wing, an update of the sound-booth area, an update to the churches website, we need to organize the upcoming outreach, work on my sermon, and oh, yeah, need to check on the lady who was admitted to a nursing home.

Prior to pastoring I served as a senior project manager at a fortune 50 company. As I began pastoring I began to realize how many projects a church has going on at any one time. Even micro churches. It's at that point I decided we needed a project manager. It has freed me up in ways I could only imagine (I don't like that song). It will free you up as well!!

You, me, we are called to shepherd, care for people and lead a body of believers. Yet, most of us find ourselves coordinating remodeling projects, decorating the stage for a sermon series and trying to find the right color of paint, etc. Or worse yet, we put together a committee to make all these decisions which only leads to division.

Imagine with me if you will, a person in your church who's job it is to manage non-shepherding projects in your church? Yes, someone who's job it is to manage all these ongoing projects, a Project Manager!!

A project manger by definition, according to the Project Management Institute is, "change agents: they make project goals their own and use their skills and expertise to inspire a sense of shared purpose within the project team. They work well under pressure and are comfortable with change and complexity in dynamic environments. They can shift readily between the "big picture" and the small-but-crucial details, knowing when to concentrate on each."

For us our executive pastor (volunteer position) serves as our project manager. He works with the lead of an area, identifies key deadlines, man hours, and the tasks necessary to hit deadlines. He can identify the number of man hours a project or a detailed task may take, all while seeing the big picture.

A project manager does not need to know how to do the work but can motivate people towards a goal, articulate and understand the big picture and move a team to accomplish the vision. Our project manager identifies and provides an estimated budget. Works with the lead (catalyst) and team members to keep the project on target and assure we do not allow "scope creep" (when new features or requirements that were not a part of the original plan "creep" into a project). Because as we both know "scope creep" would never happen in a church project! (Please note the sarcasm).

Pastors let's be clear a project is not a process. A process is an ongoing repeating cycle, for example how we follow-up with first time guests. By contrast a project has a definite beginning and end date with a determined and stated goal. A project once complete does not repeat itself like a process does.

The result of having an in house project manager (PM) to manage the non-shepherding projects has been astronomical in reducing my stress and freeing up my plate for other things.

What might your church look like if you had a project manager? How would you or your church function differently if someone in your church was dedicated to non-people related projects?

You can learn more about Project Management here:

If you would like a complementary session with me and our Project Manager to powerfully serve you in developing a project manager for your church email me at