This is part three of this article. Click here to read part one or two.
Teach yourself to constantly ask, “How would Pastor want this done?” The answer is not, “hap-hazard,” or “mediocre.” Certainly the answer is, “with excellence.” Don’t allow yourself to accept “good enough.”
Know what happened last year. Create a paper file or a computer file for each event. Record what promotions were ordered, quantity, price, vendor, etc. Next year when someone asks, “Where did we get those balloons last year?” you will be able to pull up all the information. Also after the event, be sure to record how many were left over or if you ran out, so you will have that information next year also. You will be able to say, “We ordered this many balloons, from this vendor, and it cost this amount of money. And by the way, we ran out, so this year let’s think differently about the quantity.”
You should also develop a method of remembering instructions for future days. If your Pastor gives you a brochure and says he wants to do something like that for the missions conference in six months, what do you do with it? You could put it in your file labeled “Missions Conference,” then make a note on your calendar five months from now to ask the pastor how to proceed.
Unfortunately, change is one of the things we most often neglect to communicate. Whenever there is a change, don’t forget to communicate it first to the staff, then to the church family. And, we must communicate several times. Remember that not everyone will be present for each announcement. Consider communicating change several ways including: the weekly bulletin, email, letter, pulpit announcements, adult class announcements, text, website, or phone call.
Review and Look Ahead
Joshua 1:7, Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest.
Continually look ahead to anticipate problems. One of my mottos is, “Be aware!” The word aware means “having knowledge of; vigilant; watchful.” Of what should we be aware?
First, be aware of people. Remember, the ministry is people-work, not paper-work. At church, be on the lookout for people who need encouragement or help. Walk slowly through the hallways, not with your head bent while you look at your phone! Don’t be so busy running around on Sundays that you don’t see and love people. Remember, serving the people of the church is why you are here!
We should also be aware of processes. Don’t just do something because you’ve always done it that way! Ask, “How can this be done better?” “How can we improve this process?”
Listen on purpose to announcements made in church, in your Sunday school class, and in staff meeting. Read the weekly bulletin, read emails and letters sent to the church—you are part of the church! Keep yourself informed, so you can help the church be informed.
Regularly look ahead on the calendar. Turn the page to next week and next month and think about each item on the calendar. Ask questions like: What should I be doing about this? Does something need to be advertised or communicated? Is there a new staff member helping in that area who might need help or direction?
Lastly, we should be aware of problems. Don’t say, “That’s not my problem.” Instead, realize that God let you see it … so observe to do! You saw it, do something about it. If you can fix it, or solve it, then do it! Seek to obey every impulse of the Holy Spirit. Get into the habit of immediately acting on promptings from the Holy Spirit. Keep a 3x5 card and a pen with you, or another way to jot yourself a note. I have periodically called and left myself a voice mail about something I don’t want to forget. Remember, problems are opportunities to be problem solvers!
Many a teacher has said, “Repetition is the key to learning.” Don’t be discouraged when you have to communicate something several times. In fact, embrace it! Your goal is to make sure everyone gets the message. Communicate early and often with the staff and the church family. Repeat instructions and procedures. Always remember there are new people in each service or meeting. I often think of this in children’s ministry. It could be the child’s first Vacation Bible School or Promotion Sunday. She and her parents need to be informed, reminded and encouraged!
Don’t “reinvent the wheel” every year. If something works, use it again, but make it bigger and better involving new people and ideas. This is where having good notes and files comes into play. Pull out what you did last year then brainstorm on how to make it better.
Conclusion: When you ponder your support for your pastor, I encourage you to know who is doing what and when, strive to be aware, and be a doer of the work. May God bless you as you endeavor to have a structured, systematic, and supportive church office!