Administrative Staff: Getting them Fully Funded

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By on November 1, 2005   /   1 Comment

A reporter asked three bricklayers busy constructing a huge cathedral the same question: “What are you doing?” The first worker smirked, “I’m laying bricks.” The second smiled and said, “I’m building a church.” But the third stood up, raised his hands to the sky and proclaimed, “I am bringing glory to God!”

All three men doing the exact same thing—but with radically different perspectives. Similarly, I have talked to many administrative staff over the years whose job titles may be the same, but are worlds apart in how they view their roles:

1. “I just type and talk on the phone all day.”

2. “I provide administrative support for all our staff.”

3. “I am the vital link between our missionaries on the field and our home office as we seek to plant 10,000 churches among the unreached by the year 2020.”

Three different administrators doing the exact same thing—but with radically different perspectives. Even though these administrative staff are worth their weight in gold and absolutely essential to the success of the ministry, many leaders don’t value them like we should. Consequently, they don’t put much stock in themselves and when they look a potential donor in the eye, it is hard for them to truly believe their role is really that critical.

So, how can we help these admin staff view themselves as a great investment to potential donors who may normally give to the seemingly more “strategic” or “front lines” worker rather than the behind the scenes office staff?

1. Prize them
As they begin to raise support don’t give them a job title like “assistant”, but something with vision like “Director of Ministry Advancement.” Continually include them in the big picture discussions and decisions.

2. Praise them
Make heroes out of them. One of the greatest human needs is appreciation. If you continually (publicly and privately) affirm them they will want to be part of the team, want to get to full support, want to make a long term commitment.

3. Prepare them
Give them great support raising training and materials. Make sure their newsletter is full of changed lives—from their own personal ministry, yes, but also showing others’ fruit from the ministry they provide the foundation and stability to. Help them see it’s not just about typing letters or answering calls, it is about serving the greater cause of world evangelization.

I’ve read that for every U.S. soldier we have out on the front lines, we have eight support personnel someplace, making sure they have everything they need. I am hoping your field staff to admin ratio is not that high, but whatever it is, make sure you focus your admin staff on the vision of the ministry, and not just their particular tasks.

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