Are You Feeling Called to Administration?
By Lisa Rettew, Executive Assistant to the Bishop
“Administration: the management of any office, business, or organization.” Dictionary.com
Any time in my life that I have taken a career interest survey, the administrative category has always come up high on my list of options. Not only was I not “wowed” by this discovery, I actually found it puzzling. I really felt drawn to the helping professions, first counseling, then ministry, which didn’t seem to relate very well to administrative skills. But when I thought about it, I had to admit that as a kid, I had always loved helping in the office in the afternoons at the school where my mother taught. And what do you know, after years as a full-time parent, it was as an administrative assistant that I reentered the paid workforce.
What I came to understand about this survey preference of mine was that the work of assisting others in the mission of an organization is a helping profession, and it is fulfilling for that very reason. Using administrative gifts and skills in the context of the church is a ministry that contributes to the fulfillment of God’s mission. Think about Jesus’ disciples: they kept the schedule, managed his appointments, set up lunch breaks, arranged transportation, and supported his ministry with all the help they were able to provide. All of these acts that served Jesus in turn served God’s purposes in the world.
Though they may be so behind the scenes that folks may not notice, administrative skills are essential to the work of the Church. Filing, making copies, folding bulletins, answering phones: the list of tasks needed in a parish or diocesan office goes on and on. Some don’t even require previous experience; it’s just your time and willingness to help that are essential.
Here's what you can do if you feel administrative work is one of your gifts:
Make a list of tasks you enjoy. Think of things that happen in an office, like greeting visitors, stuffing envelopes, sorting mail, organizing storage cabinets, etc.
File possibilities. Ponder the ways your time and talents could benefit others, look at your calendar to see how much of a regular commitment you can make, and listen to how you may be hearing a call to engage administratively in some way.
Reach out to your pastor or an organization leader about helping out.