For over 10 years, you have seen me refer to facility stewardship. For some of you this may be still be a new concept. You know what a facility is and you are familiar with stewardship…but how do the 2 go together? I am glad you asked…
Let’s first look at the definition of each:
FACILITY (ies) – something designed, built, installed, etc., to serve a specific function affording a convenience or service.
STEWARDSHIP – (act of being a STEWARD) – a person who manages another’s property or financial affairs; one who administers anything as the agent of another or others.
If you have grown up in the church or been involved in church for any period of time, you have heard the term “stewardship”…and I am sure that in almost every case, it revolved around money or raising money. In these cases, we are generally talking about financial stewardship which is critical to our spiritual life as well as the life of our ministries.
The word “money” is used over 140 times and if you add terms such as “gold” and “silver” the number is huge. For example, financial matters are mentioned more often in the Bible than prayer, healing, and mercy.
But stewardship is not just about money and finances…but refers to (as its definition above indicates) the caring for or oversight of something of someone else’s. The EPA has a section on their website that explains “Environmental Stewardship”. They define it as:
Environmental stewardship is the responsibility for environmental quality shared by all those whose actions affect the environment.
So, how do we apply this to our ministry facilities? Do we really believe that God has entrusted these to us, thus making us stewards of their care and oversight? As I have shared before, I have witnessed churches and ministries spending millions of dollars in the construction and renovation of their facilities…but then fail to maintain them (i.e. steward them). They wave the banner of “stewardship” when raising money to build them…but then neglect their care, management and maintenance. So, the following is a list of attributes that I believe are part of “Facility Stewardship”:
- Proper cleaning
- Systematic and proactive Preventive Maintenance
- Proactive Capital Reserve Account planning
- Life Cycle analysis and planning
- Development of a systematic painting plan
- Proper facility scheduling – this is a key element of stewarding the facility…they were meant to be used
- Sustainability implementation
- Vigilant monitoring of operational costs
- Implementation of energy saving processes (i.e. HVAC interface with a Building Automation System or WiFi thermostats of better yet)
- Proactive cataloging of facility components and tracking of work orders and service requests
With the above as a backdrop, how are you doing with your Facility Stewardship? What can you implement immediately that would make you a better steward?