Do you worship and work at the same place?

Comments (6)

I am wondering how many Church Secretaries, Assistants, etc. do not work at the same church that they attend?  Do you see benefits to this?  Downfalls? Let me know your thoughts. 

Posted in: Church Admin & Finance; Discussion Topic

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I am the office manager of the church that I attend; the benefit is that this feels more like a ministry than a job.

the downfall is that I oftenfeel that i do  not get a sababth because I am working on Sundays also.

I also work at my church and echo the sentiments expressed above. I definitely feel and experience that my work is more of a ministry than a job. Because a large component of my work is enabling volunteers to do their work with satisfaction, it is inevitable that I do a fair bit of connecting with people on the one day they are here, so in a sense I lose some sabbath rest. I have learned, however, to tell people who come to me with notes about their address or a meeting date, or other such administrative details, that they have to go to my office and write it down on my pad of paper beside the phone, and I'm very up front with people that I will not deal with such verbal requests or remember them if they can't be bothered to write it down for me. It's caused the occasional grumble, but when I point out that I'm in church to worship, they usually oblige willingly.

I work at my church as well.  I think it is better to look at it as a ministry.  Some items I don't mind helping out with on Sunday, like when the copier jams.  But when people come up with requests that could be handled during the week, I politely tell them that I am not in work mode right now and I might not remember come Monday. Please email me or drop a note in my office.  Most people are very understanding.  I have to admit, some Sundays (depending on the week I have had)I try to leave shortly after the service.  It gives me a break so that I don't feel like a live at church.

Although I've already posted about how to get people to respect your space, sometimes it's unavoidable, and it's those Sundays that highlight one of the main problems with working where you worship. There are Sundays when it feels like people only talk to you because they need something from you, and this can be a bit demoralizing personally. When you're the "go to" person for everyone else, a Sunday morning can be very busy, yet very empty on a personal level.

I also work where I worship.  I am the church administrator and also see this as my ministry.  My feelings are a bit different about Sundays.  Sundays are when I get to connect with everyone face to face.  Yes - it makes for busy Sundays but I find it helpful and energizing.  I have learned to carry my planner with me so I can write things down so I don't forget but I have also asked people to send an e-mail to remind me later.  I do not feel that I am not able to enter fully into worship because of people asking for my help or giving me info.  I'm also involved in Worship but I find this helps me be more connected to worship which enhances my worship experience. 

I also work where I worship.  When I first started in this position, I had a friend who was a church secretary and worshiped in a different church.  I thought that was so strange, but the longer I'm a secretary, it makes sense to me.

The advantages of being a secretary where you worship...you know the members well; you may have some input in procedures, programs or committees that affect your job; you are the only constant in the church.  Preachers, Elders, Deacons come and go, but the secretary is usually there throughout all the officebearer changes that happen yearly in a church.

The disadvantages of being a secretary where you worship...sometimes, there are Sundays that I get more "church work" done than actually worshipping.  I don't think people do it on purpose, but they see you and know that they need to talk to you about church and do it on Sunday so they don't forget.  I don't take my office keys to church anymore and don't take pen and paper either.  I just tell people, if they need to tell me something about church, write it down and slide it under my office door, call and leave a message on the church answering machine, send me an email or put in the secretary's mailbox (not my personal church mailbox).  Most people are pretty good about that, and they have to learn to respect your Sunday worship as well.  I used to always take my office key and paper and pen, but you allow people to take advantage of you too.  I just politely remind them about all their options of leaving me a message and most people will respect that.

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