Why is administration important?

  1. Purpose –
    The board of trustees is responsible for receiving and ensuring proper investment of restricted and unrestricted gifts from wills, bequests, gifts of stock and property, and other large donations are segmented between restricted and designated gifts, segment investments from the sale of church property and all other gifts (sale of church property may only be used for capital expenditures), that in conjunction with the finance committee a fund policy is developed and followed about the use of invested funds are invested and used to preserve capital and the long-term health of the mission and ministry of the congregation. All invested funds are the property of the congregation and may be spent as budgeted or according to the fund policy as approved by the charge conference. Additionally, the board of trustees is responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of all church property including parsonages and any building programs.
  2. Typical Agenda
    • Open with Bible reading or devotion and prayer.
    • Identify
      • Where did we see God working through the use of the property in addition to worship, Sunday school and Bible studies since the last meeting? Think about ways it was used by the community.
      • What is going well with the property? Why?
      • What challenges are we encountering Why?
  3. Report on all property
    • What projects were completed?
    • What projects are still open and when will they be completed? Review any accessibility and parsonage standard commitments that the trustees indicated would be worked on this year.
    • Investments – report from the Foundation or investment firm.
    • Are the investment and fund policies being followed? Are 5% or less draws being taken? Are funds properly segmented between restricted and designated? Are the sale of property funds segmented and only being used for capital projects?
    • What can/are the trustees doing to help the congregation accomplish its goals and mission?
    • Does the property, especially grounds and entrances provide a warm and welcoming atmosphere to guests?
    • Are there any new projects for the trustees to consider?
  4. Charge/Church Conference Form
    Select the following link to complete the Trustees Charge/Church Conference Form that is to be completed by ????
  5. Renting/leasing facilities including the parsonage
    To be added once the forms project is completed.
  6. Parsonage standards
    Each year the trustees along with a representative from the staff parish relations committee is to inspect the parsonage (s) each year and identify and following through with appropriate improvements over the next year. This is also to be reported on your charge conference form as well. The following is to be included in the inspection. Identify which you will improve over the coming year.

Parsonage Standards

Living Room
Condition of walls and ceilings
Condition of floor covering
Condition of window covering

Dining Room
Condition of walls and ceilings
Condition of floor covering
Condition of window covering

Refrigerator / Freezer
Exhaust Fan
Condition of floor covering

Condition of area

Condition of walls and ceilings
Condition of floor covering
Condition of window covering

Condition of walls and ceilings
Condition of floor covering
Condition of window covering

Desk and desk chair
Additional Chairs
Filing cabinet (Lock Yes No)
Condition of walls and ceilings
Condition of floor covering
Condition of window covering

Family Room
Condition of walls and ceilings
Condition of floor covering
Condition of window covering

Additional Rooms
Condition of additional room 1
Condition of additional room 2

Heating System
Air Conditioning
Electrical service: fixtures
Electrical service: outlets
Insulation of parsonage
Storm windows and doors
Smoke alarm system
Garbage collection or disposal
Water supply safety
Sewage or septic system
Fire extinguishers
General interior storage space
Condition of basement
Security system
Garage or car port
Condition of roof
Siding / paint appearance, protection
Condition of sidewalk
Condition of lawn equipment
Exterior storage space
Condition of driveway
Condition of grounds and general appearance


The trustees are responsible for creating a safe and accessible environment for people who come to the church. The following list is a helpful guide. Identify which you comply with already. Recognizing budgets and age of buildings completing the entire list may be challenging. But what are 2 or 3 projects you can complete over the next year?

Annual Accessibility  Audit for United Methodist Churches

  • Clearly visible signs mark or direct people to accessible entrances
  • 1+ marked ADA parking spaces are on level ground near entrance
  • Wheelchair users don’t have to go behind parked cars, cross traffic
  • At least 1 per 25 spaces is clearly marked with access symbol on vertical signs and on pavement (# of accessible spaces:)
  • Accessible parking spaces are 8’ wide with adjacent 5’ access aisle
  • At least one accessible space is van accessible: 11’ wide with clearly marked adjacent 5’ access aisle (or 8’ space with 8’ access aisle)
  • 36” wide curb cuts (curb ramps) are provided close to parking
  • Route (sidewalk) from accessible parking to accessible building entrance is smooth, flat, and at least 36”wide (width:     )
  • Entrance is level or has exterior ramp with non-slip surface and minimum width of 36” between handrails (width:)
  •  Ramp has maximum incline of 1:12 (length: rise:       ratio:     ) with no more than 30’ between level landings, or entrance is level
  • 34-38” handrails are on both sides of exterior ramp/ stairs, lower ramp railing is no higher than 4” above deck, or entrance is level
  • There is a 60”x 60” level platform at entry door (size:) with space (~ 18”) on pull side of door or automatic door opener used
  • Automatic door opener available, or attended doorbell for assist
  • Entrance door is 36” wide; threshold no more than beveled ½” high
  • Signs in entrances/ halls direct visitors and help them locate rooms
  • Corridors are at least 36” wide and have non-glare floor surface
  • No objects protrude more than 4”, and lowest part of protruding object is no more than 27” above floor height to allow detection with a cane or object such as a planter serves as a barrier
  • Multi-level buildings provide access to all common/ most program areas via elevator, lift and/ or ramp(s), or building is on one level
  • Interior doorways have a minimum of 32” clearance and thresholds are level or are no more than ½” high and beveled
  • Door handles to ADA bathrooms/ common areas are easy to grasp, operate with one hand (e.g. lever style) using less than 6 lbs. force
  • Carpet pile is even, no more than ½” thick, with no or firm padding; floor mats have non-slip backing and are stable
  • Fire alarm controls and extinguishers are no more than 48” (h:) from floor; visual and auditory fire alarms are in place
  • At least one marked ADA unisex/ family restroom (or one stall in male & female restrooms) is accessible from each floor; has ~60”x 60” turning space with 33 – 36” high wall-mounted grab bar next to toilet extending 54” from back wall; toilet height 17 – 19” (h:)
  • 27” sink clearance from floor (h:), w/ easy to operate controls (lever style, automatic, etc.), hot water & drain pipes are covered
  • Soap dispenser and paper towels are mounted no higher than 48” (h:) or placed on counter for access
  • Bottom edge of at least one mirror is 40” or lower (h:)
  • Drinking fountain is no higher than 36” with easy hand controls and wheelchair clearance, or paper cups are provided
  • Interior stairs/ ramps have handrails on both sides, or all one level
  • Top/bottom step edges & ramp level changes marked, or one level
  • At least 1-2 level pew cuts/spaces for wheelchair users are available
  • Wheelchair spaces are 33”x48” forward or 33”x60” side approach (size:), distributed throughout the room for choice in seating, with view of pulpit/ screen when others stand
  • Chancel area and choir loft are accessible, e.g. with ramp or lift
  • Handrail(s) provided for steps to the chancel, or chancel is level
  • At least one aisle in each space is 36” wide or more (w:)
  • Fellowship – e.g. potlucks, coffee hour- is offered in accessible space
  • In fellowship area and classrooms at least one table has minimum of 27” clearance on the underside, and a maximum height of 34”
  • 1-2 sturdy chairs have armrests, seats ~18” from floor, and no wheels
  • Members are sensitized about need to minimize use of fragrances
  • Soaps, cleaning products and other chemicals are fragrance free; candles are unscented and non-petroleum-based
  • Projected words (e.g., song lyrics) use large font and good contrast
  • Large print bulletin, song lyrics, & scriptures provided on request
  • Braille or electronic documents provided upon advanced request
  • Microphone used by all speakers or comments are repeated at mic.
  • Assisted listening system (FM and/or loop) & receivers are available
  • ASL sign language interpreter is provided upon advanced request
  • Print/ e-mailed copies of sermon provided upon advanced request
  • Captions are provided / turned on for videos and other media
  • Accessibility measures and who to contact for questions described in bulletin, website, maps, Find-A-Church site, and/or signage
  • Pastor(s), ushers, greeters, and leaders have learned and practice appropriate disability etiquette and hospitality
  • Signs, websites, and/or bulletin boards offer evidence that people with visible and hidden disabilities are welcome and included in the life of the congregation, e.g. through support group info., photos
  • Disruptions are accepted and incorporated into worship
  • Qualified service animals (e.g. guide dogs) are welcome within the church building(s) including the sanctuary and fellowship hall
  • Congregation works to use inclusive, person-first language in worship, e.g. people are invited to “rise in body or in spirit”
  • Classes and programs are adapted as needed to facilitate active participation of children and adults with disabilities
  • Disability Awareness Sunday ¶265.4 observed during past 1-2 years
  • Gifts of persons with disabilities are identified and used in service, worship, and leadership roles, and to help to improve access
  • Needs of people on special diets are considered when food is offered, including gluten-free & alcohol-free communion elements
  • Transportation offered plus valet parking or parking lot assistance
  • “Buddy” system offered for individuals needing 1:1 support

6. Safe Sanctuary

Every congregation is to have a Safe Sanctuary policy and the Board of Trustees is responsible to see that the policy is being followed. You may find examples of policy and additional information by selecting the following link:

7. Trust Clause
Each congregation’s property is held in trust for The United Methodist Church by the board of trustees. You can learn more about the trustees by selecting the following link:

8. Boy Scout Agreements
Boy Scout Troops are to use denominational affiliation agreements with their troops. The trustees are to ensure the appropriate forms are being used. You may learn more about the agreements and forms here:

The following sections, 9-15 will be completed once the forms project is completed.
9. Leasing church property including parsonages
10. Investing through the Foundation
11. Addressing property issues
12. Insurance
13. Steps to building or adding an addition
14. Steps to selling property
15. Steps to discontinuing the congregation

What are the primary roles and responsibilities of administration?

The key tools of administration are planning, goal setting, organizing people and resources, policies, procedures and processes. The best administrators listen to those who are advancing the mission and ministries of the congregation to  identify what they need and how to grow the resources to serve the congregation and the community.

How to organize your congregation administratively?

The Book of Discipline provides congregations of any size to simplify their organizational structure and move to a simplified one board model. If your congregation would like to explore a simplified model, contact your staff person from your superintending team. Pastors not sure who the staff person is assigned to your congregation, contact your regional administrator.

What are the primary administrative areas of a congregation?

There are six primary groups for the administration of the congregation. Select the area (s) of most interest to you to learn more about carrying out administration, roles and responsibilities and completing reports for each of the areas.

  1. Church Charge Conference
  2. Church Council
  3. Staff Parish relations committee (SPRC)
  4. Leadership Development/Nominations Committee
  5. Finance Committee
  6. Board of Trustees