It’s no secret that the local church and non-profits require a lot of administration. The number of details that come up on a week-to-week basis are nearly endless. However, administration often falls through the cracks for many leaders. They run the risk of either micromanaging, or being so hands-off that the tasks never get done.
In this article, I’ll explore what church administration is and isn’t and how you can begin effectively delegating tasks to a virtual assistant to save you time, energy and money.
What is church administration?
In its broadest sense, church administration are the tasks that allow the church to function smoothly at an organizational level. When talking with clients, I typically discuss administration as the tasks that have to be done on a recurring basis that no one typically sees. These are not visible to 99% of your members, yet they have to be done.
Worship Planning and Event Planning
Whether it is for a weekly church service or for a larger event such as VBS, there are a ton of details that have to be taken into account when it comes to worship and event planning. From volunteer coordination to ordering food, or making sure bulletins are accurate.
Typically office administration is what MOST people think about when they think of administration. This can be creating spreadsheets, organizing data, entering visitors into a database, handling phone calls, ordering office supplies, incoming emails and more.
While most pastors and leaders simply focus on church administration your virtual assistant can do other “executive/personal assistant” tasks–planning date nights, ordering flowers, sending cards, scheduling appointments. While many pastors and leaders think of a virtual assistant as just handling things directly related to church administration, personal administrative work is also important to keep your life running smoothly. We’ve found that when we handle personal things in a leaders life, they are better equipped to help the organization they are leading.
What isn’t church administration?
Church administration can cover a lot of ground, so I think it’s important to know what is NOT church administration.
Several years ago it was popular to list social media as an administrative responsibility. I don’t think it’s wise to do so any longer. The complexity of the world of social media has grown tremendously and so it falls beyond the scope of many church secretaries and administrators. The algorithms are changing constantly and the amount of work required to create compelling videos and graphics is growing as well.
Further, there are more platforms than ever before. For this reason, I typically don’t view this under the normal administrator’s responsibilities. Most church secretaries today, do not have enough know-how, experience, or time, to handle social media.
This is why Ministry Assistant Services adopts a team approach when dealing with all tasks, including social media management. We do not assume that one virtual assistant is going to know everything. This gives them the freedom to delegate the tasks they may not be quite as strong in.
Many people assume that the church administrator’s job is to communicate. While communication certainly does occur, typically I like to view communication as a separate piece of the puzzle. Why?
Because communication deserves its own focus! How you communicate and the channels you use to communicate are essential for the long-term success of your organization.
In other words, I view administration as the planning and communication as the announcing of what has been planned. Ideally, you will find an administrator who is gifted at both, but I have found that in many churches this is not the case.
For instance, much communication ends up falling squarely on the pastor or team because communication gets log-jammed around one person. OR, there is no process of how to communicate and so each person gets a separate piece of information.
For this reason, communication should be viewed as a separate (though not totally distinct) element of administration. A good process of communication aids in administration and good administration aids in communication.
As a result, I don’t view text messages, phone calls, prayer calls, church-wide emails, as strictly administrative responsibilities–though a good administrator should be able to do all of these tasks.
At Ministry Assistant Services, we require our team members to be excellent administrators and communicators. In fact, communication is one of the most essential parts of what we focus on at Ministry Assistant Services.
Sermon Research and Writing
While some pastors may disagree with this, I stand by it. I do not believe that sermon research and writing is an administrative task. Rather, it is a spiritual task that requires a great deal of wisdom and prayer.
At Ministry Assistant Services, we have an entirely separate team that focuses just on Biblical research and writing. These are individuals who have Master’s Degrees in theology or Biblical Studies, with a proven track record of excellence in their field.
So how can a virtual assistant help with church administration?
Simply put a virtual assistant can save you time, energy, and money when it comes to church administration–especially when you contract with Ministry Assistant Services.
How a Church Virtual Assistant Saves You Time
With traditional church secretaries you are limited to one person, with one skill set. In fact, most virtual assistant agencies STILL operate in this outdated way. So if you need multiple tasks done, you’ll need to bring in multiple people. That means YOU are supervising multiple people and that means MORE time spent in communication.
Ministry Assistant Services flips the model on its head. We use a team of project managers that make sure the tasks are done quickly and efficiently by our team of virtual assistants that work beneath them.
Your communication is streamlined. You talk with ONE person, a project manager, who then farms out the tasks to the best possible virtual assistant and then presents you with the completed task. You save time.
How a Church Virtual Assistant Saves You Energy
As I mentioned above, the more time you spend communicating, the more energy you are spending NOT focusing on what you should be doing. The reality is that many pastors and leaders spend their days focusing on tasks that do not fill them up. We try to change that by having you delegate tasks that will make your life more fulfilling.
The secret is this: WE LOVE ADMINISTRATION. So if it is exhausting to you and fun for us, pass it over! We want to make sure you are focusing on your giftedness and calling.
How a Virtual Assistant Saves You Money
Let’s do some simple math–most part-time secretaries for churches are paid between $18-22k a year. You get roughly 15-20 hours of work a week for that amount. That isn’t bad, but you are also limited to that particular person’s skill set.
Now while you are paying slightly more per hour for one of our Project Managers, you are also getting an entire team at that price. We literally handle everything.
I love to tell this story: we had a church come to us after they lost three secretaries for their church in one week (yikes!). We were able to replace ALL THREE of their secretaries with ONE project manager.
They saved nearly $60k a year.
And in case you were wondering, yes, they are still a client and still immensely grateful.
But here’s the other thing: at Ministry Assistant Services, we view our role as a ministry. Our vision is to help churches of any size with our low hourly pricing.
We do not think hiring a virtual assistant should be a luxury for large churches. We believe that churches of any size should be able to afford a virtual assistant. This is why we intentionally keep our hourly rate so low–we see a larger goal. We want to see the kingdom advance.
Should You Hire a Virtual Assistant for Administration?
Ok, since we are a virtual assistant agency, we are obviously biased. I think that nearly every single church and nonprofit can benefit by having a virtual assistant on staff.
However, there is a learning curve. Delegating well takes practice. Some churches simply are too scared to make the leap to all virtual. Old ways die hard.
But for those churches and organizations that are willing to take the leap, I believe you will experience some of the most fruitful, valuable ministry you have encountered.
I would love to personally talk with you about your organization’s unique DNA and how a virtual assistant can help. Click the button below to schedule a free 15-minute consultation to see how we might be able to integrate into your ministry right away.