What is a Church Administrative Assistant?

Overview of the Role of a Church Administrative Assistant

Excerpts from the book: Church Administration – Running a Church Office – available at www.turningpointstore.org and www.amazon.com  ISBN 978-0-9840986-6-8

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Let’s briefly examine: Pastor’s Assistant and Church Administrative Assistant

There are those who are called to serve as the pastor’s assistant or as the church’s an administrative assistant. We are combining these, but will briefly explain the role of each. Many times those serving as the pastor’s assistant have a call of an administrative assistant.

Those called as an administrative assistant truly have a servant’s heart and consistently go above and beyond the call of duty. They are sensitive to the needs of others and the ones they serve and can normally predict what the needs are prior to being asked. They pay close attention to details and words spoken, listening carefully so they do not miss an opportunity to properly respond to a need. They normally carry a notepad, PDA, electronic tablet, or iPad with them, jotting down important details, minuscule and great, so they do not forget what is required of them.

Called administrative assistants intuitively know how to respond to varying situations and are not shut down by changes. They are great planners and are resourceful and quick to respond in a crisis. They also stay abreast of technology that will aid them in excelling in their role.

Anointed administrative assistants are balanced, not two-faced and do not mock leadership or church members. They understand what this releases in the atmosphere. In addition, they have excellent communication skills and know how to share the vision of the ministry and the pastor’s heart. They are loyal to the vision and leadership. They know how to keep confidentiality. Furthermore, they know the value of teamwork and diligently strive to maintain a peaceful relationship with all staff members.

These attributes along with others aid the administrative assistant when asked to be the pastor’s personal assistant. Those who serve in this role have one primary focus—meet the needs of pastoral leadership. They do not consume themselves with the day-to-day operation of the church office. This is not their function. Instead, they seek ways to lift the administrative burden from the pastor by aiding in maintaining the pastor’s calendar, typing lesson plans, ensuring important events are not overlooked, and communicating the pastor’s wishes to other staff and department heads. Furthermore, they serve as a buffer between the members and the pastor. This requires them to draw on their sensitivity, to listen with their heart, know the voice of God, and to stay in their lane. In this role, it is important that humility remains intact and boundaries not be overstepped.

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Below is a sample job description. This role varies in each church and you will need to adapt it to fit your church’s needs for this position.

Church Anytown

Job Description

*this is for an office where there is only one administrative support and no bookkeeper or business administrator on staff.  The Administrative Assistant is responsible payroll, basic bookkeeping, etc.

Title: Administrative Assistant (Monday – Friday, 40 hours – salaried)

Functions: The Administrative Assistant is responsible for the oversight of the church’s office, ensuring that contributions are properly posted into the computer’s church management system, ensuring that an accurate database is maintained of church members, ensuring that accounts receivables/payables are processed timely, publishing church written materials, typesetting some of pastor’s sermons into books, processing payroll and filing required tax paperwork and making payroll deposits, providing administrative support to the pastor and other pastoral staff, and is the secretary and administrative assistant to the pastor. Must be discreet and not a gossiper. Confidentiality is a must.

General Duties:

1. Office Operations

  • Answer the telephone and directing calls to appropriate staff
  • Maintain office files and church documentations for easy retrieval
  • Keep Pastor and appropriate Elders, etc abreast of members’ illnesses, etc
  • Maintain the church and pastor’s calendars
  • Coordinate and train volunteers
  • Enter contributions into the computer weekly
  • Process invoices and accounts receivables
  • Ensure that office equipment is maintained and in workable condition, and stocked with paper, toner, etc.
  • Maintain adequate inventory of office supplies for the office and various departments
  • Purchase office supplies and equipment
  • Work closely with the Pastor and Board in establishing the yearly church budget.
  • Ensure that each department receives a copy of its budget
  • Monitor the overall budget
  • Consult with department heads regarding their administrative needs
  • Ensure that first-time visitors and new members receive a letter and/or packet, as appropriate
  • Reconcile bank statements monthly
  • Ensure deposit made by the Finance Committee matches what is submitted to you to put into the computer
  • Make payroll deposits before due date
  • Prepare and submit appropriate tax paperwork, to include, 941s, W2s, etc. Ensure that any new staff completes a W4 and all guest ministers complete a W9 prior to the church paying them.
  • Other duties as assigned

2. Printed Materials

  • Prepare, copy and distribute the monthly church calendar or ensure volunteer is trained how to do layout
  • Ensure Education Department has materials for its classes
  • Ensure volunteers are trained on office equipment prior to using it
  • Oversee the preparation or prepare special brochures, booklets, and other presentations

3. Secretary to Pastor:

  • Use discernment in scheduling appointments and/or transferring calls to the Pastor
  • Assist the Pastor in preparing for engagements by making travel arrangements, photocopying material, etc.
  • Type letters and memos
  • Other duties as assigned

Minimum Qualifications:   

  • Must have at least two years executive level office management experience (preferably in a church environment—but will train)
  • Must have at least 2 years’ experience in church bookkeeping and or accounting;
  • Must know how to properly process payroll checks and file necessary tax paperwork
  • Required to be efficient in MS Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Publisher, Outlook) Knowledge of Windows XP or Windows 7; knowledge of Mac is a plus
  • Must know basic desktop publishing, bulletin, flyer, and brochure design
  • Experience in a church management system that included a general ledger, such as PowerChurch Plus,ACS, or Shelby Systems
  • Experience in database management
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Flexible and able to work well under pressure
  • Have a servant’s heart, compassionate and attentive to the needs of Pastor, congregation, other staff, and department heads
  • Willingness to attend trainings and seek out ways to constantly sharpen administrative skills

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Join us at one of our trainings: www.equippingministries.com or www.churchsecretary.org . We also offer online training.

Copyrighted material – all rights reserved. Job description is provided for informational purposes only. You are free to adjust it to fit your church’s needs.

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3 Responses to What is a Church Administrative Assistant?

  1. ismay says:

    I truly was bless with I just read, may God continue to your ministry.

  2. Minister Ron Brown says:

    This site was given to me by my pastor and I must say it was very informative.
    Thank you for sharing it’s vital information. I feel it was spirit-led yet professionally documented.

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