Wednesday, April 11, 2012


There are many things I enjoy about ministry.  The ones I enjoy the most are those in the areas of my giftedness.  I love to study, to teach and preach, and I enjoy providing leadership.  It's a pleasure to provide pastoral care to someone who is hurting or seeking guidance.  I enjoy coaching people to help them achieve their life's goals.  There are also some things in ministry I don't enjoy, and at the top of that list is administration.  Filling out reports, doing paperwork that I feel will probably go into a file somewhere and never again be seen, filing, tracking expenses, and the list goes on.

In my current role I have an assistant who handles a lot of the administrative tasks for me, but she works out of our regional office in Indianapolis.  I still have to send her some reports so she can do her job and it's not convenient for her to handle the everyday administrative tasks that come across my desk 90 miles away.  But, believe me when I say I appreciate everything she does because she does administrative tasks much better than I ever would.  As you might imagine, my administrative gifts are not too high on the scale.

As a bivocational pastor I didn't have even that amount of assistance.  I was the one who got the church mail and had to open it and deal with it.  I was the one who prepared the church bulletin for each service and wrote, copied, and mailed the monthly newsletter.   The phone calls for the church came to me whether it was someone needing assistance or someone wanting to sell the church insurance.  Many of my readers are bivocational ministers so you know what I'm talking about, and you could probably add to this list.

Even though I'm not good at adminstration, it's part of ministry and has to be done.  There are good reasons denominations ask for certain reports.  It is important to properly track what is happening in the church so you can know if your goals are being achieved.  Even though most of the mail we received at the church went directly into the circular file, there were important pieces of mail that enabled us to better minister.  The person who followed me at the church stopped the monthly newsletter, but I still believe it was an important communication tool that kept not only our church members but also our prospects informed of what was happening at the church.  We need to remember that good administration allows us to better minister so it's important that we do it well.

I'll never be great at administrative tasks.  I often refer to my desk as a landfill.  I would love to have a nice, tidy desk that allowed me to immediately put my hand on any item I needed, but that's never going to happen.  I often find myself close to a deadline before finally doing something that needs to be done, but I continue to work at doing better because I understand the value that good administration adds to ministry.

Let me encourage my readers who do not enjoy the administrative part of your ministry to remember that this is the part that really enables you to do the remainder of your ministry tasks better.  The better you become at handling the administrative tasks the more effective you will become in all your ministry tasks.  

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