Pastors, do you know what your ministry assistants wish you knew?
Lana Rose knows. Ministry assistants have told her.
Rose is the ministry assistant (MA) specialist for the Tennessee Baptist Convention and leads an MA conference for Lifeway.
“Most churches have fewer than 200 members,” Rose said. “These churches usually have one ministry assistant and maybe one financial secretary. So, these MAs have a lot of work to do.”
She said, “Respect, appreciation and common courtesy go a long way in helping an MA feel affirmed in the work.”
When Rose asked the assistants on her email list what they wish their pastors knew, dozens of responses came quickly.
They seemed to fall into three categories: professional, personal and personality.
I could be a wealth of information to him. I often stand in the gap between him and the church members, so I have knowledge that could be helpful if he would just ask.
I would like to be reimbursed when I use my own car and cell phone for church business.
I would like for him to go to bat for me on salary and benefit issues. I deserve to make a livable wage.
I want to be acknowledged for my professional skills. I am skilled in a wide range of computer software, financial practices and graphic design, plus I have exceptional interpersonal and relational skills that I use with church members and church staff members.
I would like to attend training so I can be better at my job and form some professional relationships with other ministry assistants.
I want to have the freedom to come to him and appropriately share struggles within the church family. He doesn’t always know what is going on.
I want to be kept in the loop. If he gets a call about a celebration, a sickness or especially a death in the church family, I need to know.
I’d like to be kept informed about his schedule. I don’t need to know specifics, just when he will be in the office and available.
I appreciate it when he talks positively about me in front of church members and other church staff members. If they see that he values me, they will value me as well.
I want him to know that I am intensely loyal to him and our church. I stand up for him when others criticize him.
I wish he would say “good morning” to me when he comes in each day and would show interest in my family and me.
I wish he would be more in tune with the church members’ struggles and health issues. I hear about it when they think he doesn’t care.
I’d like to see him visit with church members more, especially the homebound.
I want him to understand that no matter how much education he has or how well he preaches, people mostly just care about how much he loves them.
I wish he would spend more time with his family and in prayer.
By Polly House, Communications Department