By Neal Peters
“God entrusted these facilities to you. They are His and He expects us to be diligent.”
–Tim Cool, The WHY behind the WHAT: Church Facility Management
Churches are so much more than buildings. They are places of worship, community, and connection. They have great meaning beyond simply floors, walls, and windows. That’s why it can be difficult to think of a church as a “facility.”
And yet, in order for a church to continue playing the important role it does in people’s lives, the church building must be maintained. Like every facility, churches need comprehensive care, consistent management and future planning.
In a nutshell, every church needs facility management.
Some churches have a specific individual who fulfills the facility manager (FM) role, while others rely on volunteers and the community to get the job done. Either way, doing the job effectively requires strategic thinking.
Why Facility Management Is Important for Churches
Here are three good reasons to make facility management a priority at your church:
- Safety – You want to make sure all members of your congregation have a safe and healthy environment to gather.
- Appearance – You want to make sure the appearance and condition of your church has a positive impact on the people who visit it.
- Function – You want to make sure your church is able to do its job, giving your members the space and tools they need to flourish.
Five Tips for Effective Church Facility Management
Here are some key ways to keep your church in the best shape possible:
1. Take a preventative approach to maintenance.
The biggest problems many churches encounter from a facility management standpoint often come from the unexpected—a roof that collapses, an HVAC system that stops working, a carpet that needs to be replaced. These are things that both disrupt the function of the church and cost a lot of money to replace.
By taking a preventative approach to maintenance, you can avoid this trap. Regularly inspect all areas of your church and plan for replacements ahead of time. This can help you avoid the financial challenges and organizational setbacks that come from sudden catastrophes.
2. Look for ways to increase energy efficiency.
Many churches, especially old churches, are not operating at very high energy-efficiency levels. Finding ways for your church to be more energy efficient can help you save money in the long run. That way, you can spend more money on the work you do instead of on electric bills.
A good place to start is by having an energy audit to see if and where there are opportunities to reduce energy usage. Some of the most common ways to increase church energy efficiency include lighting, heating and cooling systems, and roofing materials.
3. Develop a cleaning and landscaping schedule.
From windows and light fixtures to sculptures and pews, churches have many unique cleaning needs. Effectively addressing them on a regular basis can be a challenge. One way to overcome that challenge is through effective scheduling.
One the easiest ways to keep your church looking good is by having a church cleaning schedule. Have regular times set up for landscaping, cleaning, dusting, window washing, etc., each month. This will automate the process and keep you from playing catch-up all the time.
4. Don’t overlook the importance of carpet care.
Most churches see a significant amount of foot traffic. While this is great for the church (the more people you can reach the better), it can take a toll on your flooring. This is especially true with carpeting.
Since commercial carpeting can be expensive to replace, your goal should be to extend the useful life of your church carpeting as long as possible. Getting an extra couple years out of your carpet through a carpet maintenance program can save you tens of thousands of dollars.
5. Get the community involved in facility maintenance.
One of the greatest assets churches have—and one that most facility managers don’t have—is an involved and active community. Whenever possible, use that asset. Get church members involved in facility maintenance and upkeep.
Recruiting volunteers to help with things like cleaning, landscaping, and maintenance will not only save your church some money, it will give congregation members a greater sense of purpose and involvement.
If you can improve the condition of your church and unite and strengthen your community at the same time, that’s definitely a win-win.
Part of the team that founded DPM Care, Neal Peters has 20 years of experience in carpet and flooring manufacturing and 18 years in the floor care industry, www.dpmcare.com.