By Bryan Christiansen
Facility management is a term used to encompass all of the activities you have to perform to manage both people and the physical environment at your worship facility. Maintenance and related activities comprise 90% of church facility management.
- A well-structured and proactive maintenance schedule is vital.
To effectively manage your church with minimal maintenance-related distractions and disruptions, a well-planned maintenance program with proactive maintenance tasks is your best option. That might sound harder than it actually is.
Start by creating a simple but thorough maintenance plan. Ask maintenance vendors to include preventive checks and inspection in the maintenance contract. Their purpose is not to just get called in to fix broken equipment – many of those equipment failures are preventable with regular checks.
Proactive maintenance simply means that you are looking into the future and making intentional plans today to avoid significant maintenance problems in the future. Doing this will help to keep your church infrastructure running smoothly and reduce the potential of sudden equipment failure.
- Conduct regular facility audits and assessments.
You might have large groups of people coming into your church weekly – even daily. This tends to increase the rate of wear and tear on your installations and fittings. It is good practice to regularly check the building’s condition. Use these inspections to prioritize repairs and replacements.
- Automate church maintenance management with a CMMS.
You can streamline and organize your maintenance needs better and gain insights into what is going on and what needs to be done by adopting a modern, user-friendly computerized maintenance management system. Software systems allow you to:
- Track maintenance spending and detect areas of excessive expenditure.
- Track and compare maintenance costs between multiple locations.
- Store and retrieve asset information and history for all your equipment and machinery.
- Report problems noticed during regular upkeep.
- Create, assign, and track maintenance work.
- Organize and lead capital projects (like a roof replacement).
- Proactively control O&M costs.
Churches are predominantly non-profit establishments – yet no matter how limited the budget is, their facilities must remain functional and safe. This unique limitation often requires strict budgetary controls.
But, like any other kind of building maintenance, you can summarize church maintenance as “pay for it now to keep it healthy or pay much more to fix it later.”
Some tips to help control costs:
- If you need to use the services of suppliers and vendors, invite them to bid. Compare bids thoroughly before proceeding.
- Monitor energy consumption closely. Appoint someone to check that lights and HVAC units are switched off after each service.
- As much as possible, use energy-efficient fittings.
- Provide church building security.
Churches are open-door sanctuaries where people come in search of peace, comfort, and belonging. Many of them are open 24/7 and welcome a vast number of people. Some are even open for tourist sightseeing, so it’s crucial to create a secure environment in order to preserve all the valuables and provide the safety one is seeking.
Steps for increasing church security:
- Create a comprehensive security plan that will include policies for break-ins, theft, robbery, physical altercations, fire, etc.
- Provide training for church leaders on how to respond in emergency situations.
- Invest in security technologies such as security cameras and alarms.
- Keep member donations in secure areas – you can even provide the option of digital giving in order to reduce the amount of cash.
There’s a lot involved in church facility management and maintenance, but it doesn’t have to be complicated or stressful. An active local community and a capable sexton – supported by a modern maintenance solution – will make your daily maintenance activities a breeze.
Bryan Christiansen is CEO and founder of Limble CMMS, modern software for the modern maintenance professional, www.limblecmms.com.