As I’m working with staff leaders in churches across the country, one of the more frequent complaints I hear is the frustration that they don’t have adequate administrative support. I get it. Details, numbers and administrative responsibilities wear me out too. I can do it. I have gifts in that area. It’s just not what fulfills me. The administrative tasks are just the means to an end.
But, I’ll be honest. If I hear one more “leader” complain about the lack of administrative support, I’m going to start ridiculing them mercilessly. I have no more grace left in me for this issue. If that’s you, you are a big baby.
Here are a few options that have worked with me through the years…
- Find a volunteer…or two. In my early days at Granger Community Church, we couldn’t afford to hire an assistant for every pastor. Because of that, I advertised an opening for an unpaid administrative assistant position. It was a volunteer role. Create a job description. Define expectations. Establish a schedule. There are people in your church with the flexibility in their schedule and the gift mix for this volunteer role.
- Hire a remote assistant. My assistant, Regina, doesn’t work in my office. She handles my schedule, travel arrangements, communications, etc. and, though we live in the same neighborhood, we rarely see each other face-to-face. Again, I’ll bet there are stay-at-home moms or dads looking for opportunities to use their experiences and gifts to support someone like you.
- Outsource your executive assistant. There are a number of options for this service as well. I know many guys in ministry using the Miles Advisory Group (MAG) for this service. Give them a call. It may be a much better solution compared to paying a full-time salary with benefits.
- Share an assistant. Tim and I did this for years. Then Brian and I did this at West Ridge for a time. It’s my opinion that most people in ministry leadership roles don’t really need a full-time assistant unless that assistant also has some other significant ministry role. (I’m just calling it like I see it.)
If your organization ever does get to the point where they can afford to offer you a full-time assistant, you will have had experience to know what you need. You’ll know the best personality that fits your leadership style. You may even have found the volunteer who could ultimately become your paid assistant. Remember, it’s always easier to fire your assistant before you pay them to do the job.
Here’s the bottom line. If you have a problem and you’re the “leader,” fix it. Stop whining. No matter who you are and what your leadership position is, you can have an administrative assistant today. It’s your choice. Stop being the victim and do something about it.