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A few cents' prevention can save you $$$

Schedule your facility's annual check-ups now

Think money spent on preventive maintenance is money that takes away from ministry objectives? Think again. When it comes to your facilities, the cost of prevention is minor compared to the cost of correction.

Why preventive maintenance?

Unlike an industrial plant that loses money every time a piece of equipment fails, a church can usually function when equipment breaks down. Yet when it comes to your church's facilities, proper maintenance is important on several levels:

  • Most importantly, as an outreach tool, first impressions count. A well-maintained property is part of the overall church experience for both visitors and members and communicates your commitment to their safety and wellbeing.
  • Second, in a purely financial sense, preventive maintenance costs less than corrective maintenance. Regular, routine maintenance and repair of facility components can actually be a cost-avoidance strategy.

Good preventive maintenance has three elements: essential care, fixed-time maintenance and condition monitoring. Together these elements help ministries be good stewards of the facilities God has given them:

Plan for the unplanned

Studies show that even when facilities are properly maintained, they deteriorate by approximately 1-2% per year. In the absence of preventive maintenance, the rate of deterioration doubles, increasing to about 4% per year.

The solution? Develop a mindset of prevention. Budget for routine maintenance and repairs so you'll have the funds when you need them.

How to develop your Preventive Maintenance Program

  1. Make an inventory of all church facilities and facility components. Include property such as sound equipment and computers. Then develop an inspection schedule to monitor their condition on a regular basis.
  2. For each item on the schedule, identify exactly how it should be inspected and any routine maintenance that needs to be performed. GuideStone offers a Sample Preventive Maintenance Schedule to help you determine appropriate inspection routines.
  3. Set priorities for maintenance based on the importance of the equipment to your ministry objectives and the cost of repair or replacement. Regular servicing (according to manufacturer's recommendations) may extend the life of facilities and equipment.
  4. Develop an annual work plan with checklists assigned to particular employees or volunteers. Then incorporate the cost of maintenance into the ministry's annual budget.
  5. Keep records of all maintenance requests, preventive maintenance activities and costs.

Keeping your facilities in top working condition is often a product of reactive maintenance — especially in tight budget years. But preventive maintenance has been proven to save money. To put it another way, every dollar saved on maintenance is a dollar that can have direct ministry value.

This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be construed as legal advice. Readers should use this article as a tool, along with best judgment and legal advice to determine appropriate use of suggestions.