More churches need to adopt sound business practices, says new Elim executive director

Olivia Amartey(Photo: Elim Pentecostal Church)

The new executive director of Elim Pentecostal Church fears too many churches are ill-prepared to meet their legal obligations.

Olivia Amartey suggested in an interview with the Evangelical Alliance that there was a tendency among churches to see the implementation of policies and procedures as 'unduly bureaucratic.' 

She said she was surprised that so many churches are 'ill-equipped or ill-prepared' in key areas like human resources, safeguarding, and budget management. 

She warned, however, that it was in churches' best interests to embrace sound business practices.

'Many churches rail against the implementation of policies and procedures, seeing it as unduly bureaucratic,' she said.

'However, bearing in mind the litigious nature of our society, coupled with the use of social media to immediately spotlight anything that goes wrong in the charitable world, I think we need to be diligent and proactive.

'In my experience, adopting sound business practices is more of a help than a hindrance. Getting the basics right so that our churches are legally compliant is immensely freeing, allowing us to focus on fulfilling our mandate for mission.'

Amartey is leaving her current post as deputy chief officer of Sandwell and West Birmingham Clinical Commissioning Group to take up the position of executive director of Elim in July.

She is an ordained Elim minister with past leadership experience in the NHS and is the founder of Martha's Oasis, a social enterprise that featured on Channel Four's 'The Secret Millionaire' in 2008.

In addition to assuming the executive director post with Elim, she will continue as minister at Crosspoint Church, which she pioneered three years ago, although she said succession planning was in place so that others would increasingly assume leadership as she takes on more of a supporting role.

Chris Cartwright, General Superintendent and leader of the Elim Movement, praised her leadership skills, saying, 'Olivia brings a wealth of experience in senior leadership and management to help us navigate a changing landscape for ministry and mission with confidence, creating a strong base to carry the vision forward over the next five to ten years. We believe we will need rigorous standards of management and administration to enable us to fulfil our vision and mission as a growing movement representing over 350,000 people in the UK, Ireland and overseas.'