The Gift of Administration

By Rick Joyner

Administration is one of the most important gift-ministries given to the church. Without it few of the other ministries would be able to function. Yet, there seem to be few who fully understand this gift, or utilize it properly. Regardless of the anointing and the other gifts in your church or ministry, the gift of Administration will have a significant influence over how fruitful you actually are, and how much of the fruit remains. Without fruit, and without being able to keep the fruit, our efforts are being wasted.

Like all of the gifts given by the Lord to His church, this gift must be recognized and developed. Having visited numerous churches and ministries, I have observed that most have people in administrative positions that do not have the gift of Administration, while those who do are seldom recognized, or used. This usually happens because many leaders are more prone to gather those around them who have like doctrines, or who have similar or compliant personalities, rather than those who have the calling.

The Administration should be made up of both leader-types and manager-types. There are many differences between these orientations which can easily cause conflicts. Leader-types tend to think in concepts and are bored with detail. Manager-types usually want cold details and are bored with concepts. It is difficult for leaders and managers to work together, but it is a difficulty that must be overcome for the effective Administration of the church or any other venture. An Administration that does not have both types, properly recognized and given authority for their different perspectives, will be either like a ship with sails and no rudder, or one with a rudder and no sail. One may be able to catch the wind and move, but it will usually be precariously out of control. The other will have plenty of control but will be unable to move.

Begin at the Beginning

Every enterprise begins with Administration-no one has ever started a venture until the decision was made to do it. After the initial decision is made to begin, most of the attention then gets focused on the purpose for the endeavor. Then the Administration develops piecemeal, with different departments often being born more out of crisis than sound planning. This haphazard development of such a crucial part of an organization is a major cause of the failure of most enterprises, as well as many churches and ministries.

Administration is the brain and nervous system of every venture--through it all of the other essential elements are controlled. Regardless of the quality and strength of the rest of the organization, if your Administration is not functioning properly, your venture will be like a healthy body with a sick mind--somewhere between out of control and completely useless. However, if your Administration is healthy it may be able to compensate for even serious problems in the other essential areas.

Spiritual Cancer

Left to form through circumstances without planning, the Administration will become cancerous with its greatest devotion being the feeding of itself. It will keep growing until it has sapped the life out of the rest of the venture. Management has a way of increasing layer by layer until it is inefficient and ineffective, becoming more of a burden than the life force it must be for true success.

Most governments are prime examples of Administrations which have gone awry. In 1980 some of the U.S. welfare departments had more than one employee for each recipient of benefits! To improve the welfare of the less fortunate, this preposterous ratio should never have been allowed! Obviously the promotion of the department became more important than the reason for which it was created.

Many churches, ministries, and charities are just as inefficient as governments tend to be--it is not uncommon for them to spend 85% or more of their budget on organization and administration while less than 15% actually make it to the need that the organization was created to meet. The American church prides itself in its devotion to missions, but only three cents out of every one hundred dollars spent by the U.S. church is actually devoted to missions. That is not three cents per dollar, but three cents per one hundred dollars! Unquestionably the church in America desires to do better and much of the reason why it does not is found in the problem with administration. Because Administration is the brain and nervous system of every venture, if cancer begins to grow here it will be most deadly.

How is this brain cancer to be avoided? The development and control of our Administration must be given at least as much attention and planning as the other essential elements of the venture. This can be provided only by effective, discerning leadership that is strong enough and willing enough to make tough, unpopular decisions.

The Overload: Trap or Opportunity

An effective leader must be positive in his orientation, but if he does not know how to say "NO," he is doomed to failure. In the typical Administration, decisions are usually dictated more by crisis management than by sound planning. A common mistake is the hiring of more people every time the work load becomes heavy. Our first response to an overload should not be to throw more people, money or resources at it, but to use the pressure as an opportunity to find better and more efficient ways to do the job. Crisis overloads are one of the most important times for an effective Administration to determine the true health and quality of the organization. Our goal should not be to just alleviate the overload, but to use it.

An efficiently managed enterprise will be overloaded part of the time. From economies to revivals, there are cycles to almost all activities. If you are overloaded one third of the time you will likely be underloaded at least that much. The Administrator must navigate a tolerable median between the overload and the underload for maximum efficiency. Overloads can be creative pressures we need to help us to improve our systems and strengthen the muscles of our enterprise. If Administration is allowed to just throw more resources at the overloads it will then just increase the fat in the organization, which will ultimately weaken the entire venture.

The "Zero Based Budget"

President Jimmy Carter once proposed a "zero based budget." Under this plan every department in government would start with a budget of zero at the beginning of each new fiscal year and would then have to justify every dollar given to it. If there had been the leadership to actually implement this program it could have greatly increased efficiency in the Federal Government, and may well have cut the federal deficit to "zero." There must be such a system for effectively making Administration accountable on a regular basis, or it will become fat, then cancerous. Left to itself, Administration will quickly begin to think and act as if the entire venture exists for its benefit instead of the other way around. It takes constant vigilance on the part of leadership to keep this from happening.

The failure of the Carter Administration to implement this plan was due, at least to some degree, to the lack of the detail-oriented manager-types who could take the concept and make it a reality. The majority of great leadership ideas probably fail for this same reason. Those who can see the concepts are usually repelled by, or unable to work with, those who can make them work.

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Copyright: 1993 by Morningstar Publications and Ministries. All rights reserved.

This article is published courtesy of "The Morningstar Publications and Ministries". If you would like to peruse more of Rick Joyner's articles, visit Morningstar's website. Click logo.


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