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Thursday, March 18, 2010

A Great Assistant Lightens Your Load

Jessica Jenkins has served as my assistant for almost a year and is doing a great job. I want you to hear what Jessica has to say about serving as a Senior Pastor’s Assistant in a fast-growing church.

I consider it a unique privilege to be Pastor Herbert’s assistant. When I joined the staff at People’s Church, there was a definite period of adjustment. Working in a fast-growing church environment is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. This last year has been a time of personal growth as I’ve tried to learn how to best serve Pastor Herbert as well as our church. I want to share a few important ways that I try to lighten Pastor Herbert’s load.

1. Protect Pastor Herbert’s time. He receives so many requests and inquiries that it is literally impossible for him to meet with everyone and answer every question. I do my best to help people understand this and direct them to other staff members who can best meet their needs. I also try to answer emails and Facebook messages so that he has time freed up to study for his messages and lead our church.

2. Communication is vital. This has not been one of my strongest qualities in the past, but in this environment, it is a must. Pastor Herbert always has multiple things on his mind, so I strive to have wraparound communication with him on tasks that are completed or in progress to allow him to concentrate on other important things. On the flip side, Pastor Herbert is very good about communicating with me. He is clear with expectations and often looks for ways to turn a situation into a learning moment for me. This form of teaching is invaluable in preparing me to handle situations in the future.

3. Be flexible and upbeat. Things are always changing at People’s Church, so I never know exactly what my tasks will be, but I’ve learned to do what is asked of me and keep a positive attitude. Most people will never understand all of the overwhelming stresses that are on a senior pastor. If I am constantly being needy or negative, this will just unnecessarily add to the stress.

I would encourage any of you reading this blog who are church leaders to have your assistants read this and discuss with them the ways that they can best serve you and your church.