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July 2019 NACFM News
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What Am I Doing Here?

 Message from NACFM President Gary Robinson

I have been a church facility manager for 18 years and 9 months. During that time, I have yet to meet someone that planned to be a church facility manager. What do I mean by that? When I was growing up, (a long time ago!), elementary teachers would ask their new students questions to get to know them better. One of the questions always asked was, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” No one ever mentioned managing facilities. I have attended nine NACFM national conferences and both certification programs. Additionally, I have taught at three certification program classes. In all of these settings, I have asked attendees if they ever met someone who planned to be a church facility manager. The answer - always no. What does this mean? Are we all in our current positions due to "chance"? I imagine that a few feel this way. As for the majority, including myself, I believe we are here due to divine intervention, God's hand on our lives.

When I was younger, there were no mega churches, no church facility managers. Most churches were cleaned and maintained by volunteers at the direction of the pastor or an elder. In the church I attended as a youngster, a retired member was hired as custodian. He was the only facility employee. The rooms were always clean and set up. I never gave much thought to the process that made that happen. It was during these early years that I felt called to full-time ministry.

When I was a teenager, full-time ministry meant one of three things; a pulpit pastor, a song leader, or a missionary that went to the Congo to share the Word. I have never felt called to the pulpit. If you have heard me sing, you would know immediately that God did not intend for me to be a worship pastor. My family included several missionaries spreading the gospel around the world, but I felt no leading in this direction. So I placed God and His call for my life on hold.

For twenty-five years, I was in the corporate world. I managed several locations in various industries. While there were times that I felt like my career had taken a detour, I learned quite a bit in each industry. During this time, my wife and I started and ran a couple of janitorial firms. We did not make piles of cash in the janitorial field, but we learned a great deal. God was preparing me for His purpose in my life.

We don’t always see God’s hand at work in our lives. I know that I didn’t. As I look back, I realize that those perceived detours were God’s way of preparing me for the full-time ministry. Even though I had been relying on my plans instead of God’s, He never gave up on me. Proverbs 19:21 says, “Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails”.

In the fourth chapter of Esther, the author describes how Esther was in her current position “for such a time as this”. In Exodus 9:16 God says, “But I have raised you up for this very purpose, that I might show you my power and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth”. Wow! What an awesome privilege – proclaiming God’s name in all the earth!

As we go about our daily tasks, we are supporting the missional outreach of the churches that employ us. God is using every one of us to make ministry happen. Our efforts allow our churches to bring others to Christ. Are you in your current position by accident? Are you there due to happenstance? I think not! Take a moment to look at your life experiences. Where did you learn the skills you use every day? What were the pivotal moments in your life that prepared you for such a time as this? I think you will see the hidden hand of God preparing you for the race he has put before you. Aren’t you glad He didn’t give up on you? Aren’t you glad you answered His call?

Gary Robinson

Church Security is No Longer a Luxury

Safety concerns are promoting local churches to look into methods to better protect their attendees and their facility. There are two key elements to consider, electronic security systems and a security team.

The security industry is receiving an increasing number of requests for various types of security solutions from churches.

National news outlets are reporting an ever-increasing number of stories of church vandalism, theft, robberies and in some instances active shooters on or within church campuses.

Those stories along with a greater interest for safety concerns across the nation are driving the local church to investigate methods to better secure the church facility and protect its members' personal security while attending activities.



3 Ways to Glorify God in Your Life 

The Westminister Shorter Catechism asks the question, “What is the chief end of man?” Most of us know the answer. “Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.” While this text is not drawn from Scripture, the wisdom is. The Bible tells us that man was created to bring glory to God. So the chief end of Christians and the church is to bring glory to God. There is no higher calling. David VanDrunen explores three ways that we glorify God in our lives in his recent article for The Gospel Coalition.



Announcing Our New NACFM Vice President, Homer N. Clark III

Thank you Homer for offering your dedication and expertise to NACFM!

To learn more about Homer, visit this page.


Church Facility Specific Benchmarking Study 

Our friends at Cool Solutions Group have asked for our assistance in a Facilities Benchmarking survey that they are undertaking. For the study to be as accurate as possible we are trying to receive responses from as many houses of worship as we can, across the country. We currently use information from several types of commercial properties, and that does provide a great initial basis. We want to drill down even further and see how all our houses of worship are performing to create an even more impactful benchmark based on facilities that operate in similar manners with similar missions.

We still would like your help. There are over 350,000 houses of worship across the United States. While getting a response from everyone would be difficult, getting several hundred to 1000 responses is attainable. If you would like to participate and help us (if you haven’t already) please click on this link and take the survey. Be prepared to spend about 15-20 minutes and there are several questions that require knowledge of budget figures. The survey is anonymous, and we do allow for you to provide your contact information at the end if you want to receive an advance copy of the results.


The 2019 NACFM Conference in Houston was a Great Success! 

The 2019 National Conference, “Houston We Have a Solution,” took place on June 17-20 at Faithbridge Church in Spring, TX. It was an exciting year to be at conference. Excellent attendance, varied educational opportunities and the largest trade show in NACFM history are all reasons that make a conference a great success, but the true success of this year’s conference is found in the relationships that were formed and strengthened while likeminded believers were encouraged in their ministry. Jeff McDaniel said it well, “It was so refreshing to be around a group of men and women who reflect Christ in the way they live, work, and play. I was refreshed and encouraged by being reminded that our work is not just a job, it's a ministry!! My first conference has been a wonderful experience!!”


Lizzi and Matthew Bailey led us in worship each morning.

We kicked off the National Conference on Monday night by hearing from Ken Werlein, Faithbridge Founding Pastor. We enjoyed a great evening with Texas style BBQ, church tours, games and great fellowship.

Charles Ligon, corporate chaplain, and member of The Other 6 Days team, challenged us to consider, “Why Our Work Matters to God.” He encouraged us that our work is not just a job, but a ministry.

Phil Martin, CEO Elect of The Church Network, showed us how to improve performance and increase engagement by using the coaching model of leadership to help us optimize our team’s strengths. Each attendee was given the opportunity to complete a Clifton StrengthsFinder assessment to identify, understand and maximize their strengths.

Carter Bliss provided attendees with a basic understanding of what is required to operate a pop-up emergency shelter. He discussed everything from advance preparations to best-operating practices based on his experience with Hurricane Harvey.


TopGolf – Family Outing
Great fun was had by all at TopGolf.

David Connery, Senior Account Executive for Accruent, kicked off the day by sharing the importance of conducting an assessment of a church’s physical resources – real estate, facilities, and equipment. They are critical to achieving your mission.

Construction & Design Industry Panel – Attendees had the opportunity to ask questions regarding the construction and design process, whether they are facing a new construction or redesign project.

Trade Show – The largest trade show in NACFM history opened on Wednesday with 24 vendors participating from all across the country and facilities industry. Many of them commented that they can’t wait to join us in Chicago next year. We may need a bigger exhibit hall space!

Breakouts – With 18 different breakout sessions, there was something applicable for everyone.

Our own Patrick Hart, NACFM President, shared with us in his session from his own experiences how to deal with setbacks, “Failure is Not an Option, or Is It?”

Dylan Lucas, Faithbridge Executive Pastor, closed out our conference sessions and had everyone roaring in laughter with his “Larry the Cable Guy” impersonation during his, “Gentle Musings from a Facility Manager.”


Thursday night’s banquet wrapped up conference as Milton Windler shared his NASA experiences as Flight Director for Apollo 13 and 14 space missions.

Bob Smiley entertained us with his ability to find humor in everyday situations.


Awards & Recognitions
Rick Burdon & His Wife Peggy – As the facilities manager for Faithbridge Church, Rick along with his wife Peggy did a wonderful job hosting this year’s conference.

Longevity Certificates - Members of the NACFM for 5, 10, 15, 20 and 25 years were recognized.

CCFM – Those that successfully passed the CCFM exam this week received their certificate.

Board Members – Three NACFM board members were recognized for their contributions to the association as their terms come to an end. Jon Owens, Director of Membership; Marie Welch, Secretary and Josh Eurle, Director of Communications. We are grateful for their leadership and wisdom they shared so generously.

New Board MembersChris Shelton was recognized as the new Director of Membership. Homer Clark, the new NACFM Vice President closed out the 2019 Conference with prayer.


 See you in Chicago June 15-18, 2020.