It can appear to an outsider than a church is only busy during worship times. With committee meetings, weddings, funeral memorial services and other events happening throughout the week, the building does much more than hold church services. As churches grow, many hire a facilities manager to oversee the maintenance and safety of the property. These managers typically organize activities into periodic checklists to be sure that everything works flawlessly and in a way that brings glory to the real owner of the property.
Every week the facilities manager must verify that the entire church is clean in preparation for worship services. She may oversee the maintenance staff and the director of maintenance in addressing any deficiencies in the site preparation. She will verify the bathrooms are clean and stocked with toiletries. She will work with maintenance and with other staff to verify each pew has an appropriate number of supplies including Bibles, hymnals, visitor's cards and other literature applicable to the congregation. She will verify the floors are clean and the trash is removed and that all light fixtures are working including emergency exit lights. In addition to worship prep, she must also remember any scheduled activities set throughout the week and address these requirements.
A facilities manager must also oversee church equipment that requires periodic, seasonal maintenance throughout the year. For example, in late winter or early spring she should arrange to have the air conditioners checked and maintained, and, conversely, in early autumn the heating equipment must be addressed. She will work with maintenance staff to perform quarterly cleaning, such as light fixtures, baseboards and other hard-to-reach items that still need to be addressed. She will thoroughly understand the ongoing church calendar so she will have time to prepare for the needs that arise from large upcoming events. She will arrange to have staff and volunteers available to set up and tear down equipment after events as needed. While this is at most a quarterly item, large-scale events will often require more than a few months to prepare.
A church has a host of yearly items for the facilities manager to address. She will work with church leadership to craft a budget for the upcoming year, including large projects such as roof replacement and parking lot resealing. She may be asked to assist in scheduling and setting prices for facilities rentals. She may assist accounting staff, as needed, in compiling the yearly tax-exempt paperwork. She will oversee any inspections required by local and state government such as elevator and fire safety inspections.
In addition to the many scheduled tasks, a church facility manager is responsible for a host of periodic and unforeseen events that arise. On top of overseeing that parking lot and sidewalks have ice removed during the winter, should there be a severe storm, she will arrange appropriate roof inspections, arrange cleanup as needed and work with insurance companies and contractors to make the facility whole again. She must oversee the landscaping throughout the year to maintain a tidy appearance. She may be asked to supervise scheduling volunteers of varying levels of expertise in completing tasks to avoid costs associated with hiring a professional, so being able to discern skill levels is important for a facilities manager.
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