Church Administrators…or “Keepers of the Names”?

A few years ago, Joe Champion of Celebration Church in Austin encouraged those who were attending our user conference with a lofty calling: Keepers of the Names. We love that!

We usually call it administration. That’s what the Bible calls it, too–and it’s no small thing.The Apostle Paul reminds us that administration is a spiritual gift. Unfortunately, the church’s organizational and support staff are all too often the unsung heroes. These behind-the-scenes ministers provide humble foot-washing at its best, especially when you consider this definition of the word Paul used in 1 Corinthians 12:28:

“The Greek word for the spiritual gift of administration is Kubernesis. This is a unique term that refers to a shipmaster or captain. The literal meaning is ‘to steer,’ or ‘to rule or govern.’  It carries the idea of someone who guides and directs a group of people toward a goal or destination. … This gift is closely related to the gift of Leadership, but is more goal- or task-oriented and is also more concerned with details and organization.”[1]

Keeping track of important data, such as member contact information, visitors, prayer requests, volunteers and offerings, is just a sampling of the jobs performed by these servant leaders. With a touch of humor, Champion reminds us about some of the data that God values enough to keep on the books:

  • Geneologies
  • Battalions
  • Attendance at Jesus’ sermons
  • Postscripts to named friends in Paul’s epistles
  • Hairs on heads
  • Deceased sparrows
  • The Lamb’s Book of Life

Champion salutes the unsung heroes assigned to the data, those who are in charge of input, integrity, and management. Ultimately, data is about names, Champion reminds us. “It’s about people, those busy, struggling, complex, longing-for-connection, eternal souls we strive to serve.”

Church management software is all about the names. And not just for the sake of lists or contact information, but for the value of the people, lives, and communities behind the names.

If you’re a Keeper of the Names, we salute the steering and guiding you do on behalf of the kingdom. Fellowship One was created to serve you as you serve others.