This is not an article on magic or weight loss. Do they seem to go hand in hand or is it just me? Sorry, for chasing rabbits. At times it does seem church secretarial assistants are expected to perform tricks and be able to pull a rabbit out of a hat. Can I get an amen? 🙂 Recently I came across this article from Thom Ranier, President and CEO of LifeWay, about the future of the church secretary position, “Seven Reasons the Church Secretary Position is Disappearing.” When I first saw the title, my first reaction was, he doesn’t have a clue!
You will have to solve this case for yourself but his reasons seemed to have SOME merit. I agree that most church secretaries I know don’t use that title anymore but have been given an updated “Ministry Assistants” or “Administrative Assistants” title. Also, technology has definitely changed the landscape of the church secretary position with the added responsibilities of learning social media and creating graphics, if you want to avoid copyright issues. Not only that, but email and text seem to be the communication channels most people prefer these days. It’s all about convenience and the “give it to me NOW” complex our world have evolved to. Throw in videos with Periscope, Facebook and others and it is enough to make an “old dog (or rabbit, take your pick) not want any new tricks”.
Does all of that automatically mean the assistant is no longer needed? I absolutely do not think so. I admit to having a love/hate relationship with change and being sucked into the text and email generation with too much ease. Social media is fun to keep up with far away family/friends and to post pictures of my adorable grandson too, so there is that. I handle those channels at work and have dipped my toes in to help at my church a little bit, but normally it sits too silent for too long most of the time due to time restraints. Creating graphics is fun but also time consuming. Honestly, with those responsibilities along with everything else I do, I cannot imagine my boss handling all he does plus these added items. I guess that is a form of job security but I don’t take it lightly. As for the virtual assistants, that could definitely be an option for some, but it is still an ASSISTANT. If anything, MORE assistants need to be hired at some churches/associations to handle the “magic”.
In order to stay relevant, up to speed, and excel in my ministry position as a Ministry Assistant (and keep my job), I am constantly reading, watching teaching videos, attending conferences like BMAV Retreats and Leadership Summit. As Pastor Bill Hybels shared at a recent Leadership Summit, “You’re a Leader. It’s your job to keep your passion hot. Do whatever you have to do, read whatever you have to read, go wherever you have to go to STAY FIRED UP.”
For me the case is open and shut but take a look at the above mentioned article. Be sure to read the comments that follow to get insight from others. It might be just the “whatever” you need to STAY FIRED UP and keep the MAGIC hopping! (sorry couldn’t resist 🙂 )