A church may appear to be a place you go on Sundays to attend service, but the church is much more, including a fully functioning business and/or organization. The business nature of today's churches makes administration a vital function.
The mission of any church should be to follow God. The church administration must establish a mission statement that clarifies what it believes (according to its denomination or theology) and what it follows (such as the Bible).
The purpose of a church administration is to manage the organization. The church administration must plan and make all decisions, both large and small, for day-to-day consistency. Since this administration is religious, it must stay true to the morals and practices of the church.
A recent article by Michael Messner on the Assemblies of God website says it is important for a church to maintain accountability. The article quoted a sermon by Southern California College President Wayne Kraiss, which presented 10 danger signals that point to an erosion of integrity, including a church administration becoming more issue-oriented than Christ-centered, vulnerability to outside forces and church goals that are too materialistic or financially motivated.
Depending on the church, the administration can be divided into several roles. Some churches provide a board, while others designate the pastor as the sole executive decision maker. The administration also includes roles for finances, accounting, community and church management, as well as secretarial work.
The number of paid individuals on the administration varies based on the budget of the church. At very small churches, only the pastor and maybe one or two people people may be paid. However very large churches may have hundreds of paid positions.