Great administrative assistants are some of the great unsung heroes of ministry.
Today, I want to offer just a few suggestions to help you get the right person in the right place to make the right impact.
As with any list, it is not intended to be exhaustive. This is just to get us started.
1. Pray about it.
Resist the urge to say “It’s just admin. stuff. I just need somebody to make coffee and press “copy.” It’s not that big of a deal.” See this for what it is — a real opportunity to have someone who may have never served in Jesus’ church do so and be discipled in the process. That is a big deal. Don’t blow it off.
2. Look honestly at the volunteer’s skill set.
What has he or she done effectively in the past? Do they have the skills you need at this stage of your journey? If you aren’t able to pay your helper, chances are you aren’t going to get a “super king.” You’re more likely to get a Burger King. However, remember that you do need somebody who can do what you need done around the office. Keep that in view as you assess the situation. If the person can’t help in the office, perhaps he can help somewhere else.
3. Ask yourself “Can I work closely with this person?”
A pastor’s relationship with their support staff is a close one. This person will be an extension of your ministry as he/she communicates through a variety of forms on your behalf. It will also be someone you spend a fair amount of time with so you need to choose someone you can communicate with easily and (appropriately) enjoy being around. Ask yourself, “Have you had a number of positive interactions with this person in the past? Is he/she flexible?” Make the right decision of you will regret it. Trust me.
4. Be wise in hiring a member of the opposite sex.
I have had both male and female assistants over the years, and there’s no “right or wrong” here. There is, however, wise and unwise. If you do go this route, talk to your leadership team and wife and make sure she is on board and comfortable with the arrangement. In addition, make sure you put plenty of guardrails in place as well to keep you both safe and above reproach. If you aren't sure what some of those are, reach out through the Contact link and we can help.
5. If you can’t pay em,’ take care of them as best you can.
Over the years, I have had numerous individuals helping out that we simply couldn't financially compensate. Instead, I looked for opportunities to buy them books, take them with me to conferences (if they were guys :) and so on. I did whatever I could do to invest in them and you should too. Even though you are mentoring these individuals, they are likely still making a significant sacrifice for the Mission. Honor them as such.
Good help is hard to find. Do everything you can to help those who help you.
Anything else you’d add?