Over the past couple of weeks, attending seminars and conferences, I have been a part of several conversations about the task of administration. Yes, I said task, not ministry. Usually, I use ministry when referring to administration, but these conversations were about something different.
Administration gets a “bad rap”, especially when it is not someones naturally gifted area. I fully agree that administration can be difficult, administration can be complicated, and administration can be time-consuming. All of this is especially so when you are working out of an area of need-to, instead of an area of gifted-to.
We need to change the narrative about administration.
Administration should not be:
- an evil thing that we do when we are not doing ministry.
- an effort of prop up a failing or ineffective institution.
- the over-complication or over-simplification of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
I have heard many disgruntled and disheartening things about administration lately and I hope that the work we do at AdminIsMinistry is helping to change the narrative.
So I ask, humbly ask, that if administration is not your area of giftedness and it really isn’t something you like, please do one (or all) of the following things:
- Stop talking negatively about administration – That talk kills volunteer recruitment and stifles conversations about serving in administrative ministry. Administration is not “crap”, “a headache”, “paper-pushing”…. and if you talk about it like that, no wonder you don’t have any volunteers to help.
- Recruit a support group of ministry minded administrators – Some churches have the benefit of multi-staff offices with many gifts, but often churches find themselves with a solo-pastor wearing many hats. If you are not a natural at admin, seek some support. It is ok to say, “Hey, can you help me read this balance sheet?” or “Can you help me communicate the income vs. expenses to my congregation?” There are people around you who can help and support you in the area of administration, let them serve the Church in this way!
- Demand excellence – Churches can, at times, take the “I’ll take what I can get” in the area of administrative ministry, or even in the paid support of administrative staff. Value this area of ministry as much as you do any other and demand excellence. You wouldn’t let a music minister who couldn’t read music hang around very long. Why an administrative staff that can’t do the basics of financial reporting, data management and communications?
I know this work is hard, that is why I am so passionate about the work.