General: This site is a subsection of the ChristianityToday website; however the pieces I am specifically recommending is the LeadershipJournal.Net section
Why Selected: This site has a huge (15K+) selection of articles written by Christian leaders for Christian leaders. It is very up to date and gathers opinions from a wide range of areas. It has a specific section for Administration and a number of other areas that were actually covered by this course.
What Learnt: There were many articles and I didn't read much more than the previews of many of them but the overwhelming evidence of the balance of the articles is that finances is a huge issue for most church leaders. At least a third, and probably more, of the articles focused on some aspect of increasing church offering or increasing the %age of the offering that went to the pastor. The two other big issues were child welfare and the churches legal liabilities. Less than 2% of the articles were actually about teambuilding or interacting with other parts of the church.
Would I Recommend: Well first the caveat. The entrance fee is $50 per annum which puts this comfortably outside the realm of casual browsing. However, if you aim to become a full time pastor then this is a huge collection of modern articles written by men who are completely in the middle of the issues there are describing.
General: This is one of those really ugly, slow to load sites, that usually comes about when someone technical and keen is allowed to let rip without the guiding hand of anyone with aesthetic knowledge. More damagingly the lead page can take 40+ seconds to load even with a cable connection.
Why Selected: Part of organization is knowing where to go to solve a problem or get an answer for a question. This site has hundreds of resources available; quite apart from the highlighted resources the 'complete resource index' lists links for just about any eventuality that might hit a church.
What Learnt: The real purpose of this site is that it should be bookmarked not memorized. However there was a particular article I found fascinating. Dr. Thom Rainer has an article on the top ten predictions for the church by 2010. He predicts a stabilizing of church attendance but with 50,000 'old' churches closing, mega churches dwindling and with many <300 person churches springing up led by a small, fundamentalist, doctrinally aware group of 15-30 year olds. Sounds fun
Would I Recommend: This is an unequivocal yes. This site is frequently updated, most of the links work and they have links for just about everything. This is a perfect entry point to the web of church administration.
General: This is an extremely well presented and slick site that offers many articles in full detail for free. A printed version is available to those that are qualified.
Why Selected: This site offers very detailed professional style assistance and commentary for those that run a church. Topics covered vary from how to decide upon the correct church upholstery to the advantages and otherwise of electronic giving. It is the site I found that most embodied the ethos of the second course textbook and is some 25 years more current.
What Learnt: I read a few of the articles, more to assess quality and approach than for learning purposes. Again I consider the area of administration to be one where efficiency denotes that you know where to go for the information when you need it. Notwithstanding there was an article on replacing pews that gave a history of the styles of pews that have existed, the costs of replacing them and the congregational factors to take into account when selecting them.
Would I recommend: This site assumes that the pastor is the CEO of a Christian farm whose job is to keep the Christians happy so that they can be milked when required. At a personal spiritual level I find this entirely offensive. That said they approach their task with a directness and professionalism that would rival a good secular business.
Each church has to decide for themselves if they are going to work purely upon biblical principles of if they want to blend secular practices with their Christian endeavors. If they are going to blend secular practices then I suggest it behooves them to blend the very best of those secular practices and this site will help them to do that.
General: A good clean fast site. Many of the articles are in PDF format but load perfectly if Adobe 7.0 Reader is installed.
Why Selected: If you are going to move to an extant church then many of the considerations of church administration can be dealt with as the need arises. However if you are starting a church then I believe you want to discover which administration has to happen and you need to learn how to get it right as quickly as possible. This site is set up specifically to help in this situation.
What Learnt: Again my primary aim in finding and scanning this site was to note and assess content. However I did read the article on the biblical justification for church planting. The premise used is that Jesus established the church and the Great Commission and that the New Testament appears to show that the method of choice for fulfilling the Great Commission was actually that of Church planting. This is similar to the rationale in Paul Jackson's book.
Would I recommend: I would recommend this site as I would use it myself when faced with a situation. I would have to say that the article I read showed a somewhat learned and non-fundamental approach to biblical interpretation. Specifically the comments of Marks gospel were dismissed as being based upon flawed manuscripts. Notwithstanding issues such as building codes, building zoning and tax liabilities are common between the denominations so I believe this site contains much useful information if handled carefully.
General: This site loads quickly, it is a little garish and advertising heavy but is a clean and well maintained site.
Why Selected: This site deals specifically with those individuals that wish to be a pastor but whose primary gift is administration. This contrasts with those sites that aim to provide administrative tools to all or those sites that aim to help senior pastors with gifts in other areas to simulate the gift of administration. In addition the site hosts a number of articles http://www.xpastor.org/learning/articles/ on Christian leadership and the executive pastor. These are serious 200+ page books and doctoral thesis.
What Learnt: The main thing I learnt is that the gift of administration is now viewed as a valid pastoral gift especially in large or very large churches. The five functions of the administrative pastor were also particularly helpful as it contrasts the job of a senior pastor very well.
Would I recommend: I would recommend this site very strongly to those that may fit the role of an executive pastor; they have a free tool to see if you fit the description. The articles list is brief but the articles are extremely high quality tomes. Had I known of this site it would have saved me quite a few dollars at Amazon beefing up my collateral reading library.