Share Button

Every church of sufficient size needs a great church secretary.  Here are 7 traits to look for.

Confidentiality

Every church secretary needs to hold to strict confidentiality.  When someone calls in to speak with the pastor about a sensitive subject that they want to keep private, a church secretary must treat this in the strictest confidence.  They are accountable for the messages that he or she has been entrusted with. There is nothing more destructive to a church than sharing with others those things spoken in private. The secretary is often privy to most of the things that are happening in the church and he or she must keep in the strictest confidence those things that are only between the pastor or church leader and the person asking for help or leaving the message.

Prayer Requests

Too often, prayer requests turn into gossip.  This is the reason that many of our prayer requests are given as “unspoken needs.”  There have been instances where prayer requests sent into the secretary have been passed along a prayer chain but quickly became bits of gossip that spread throughout the entire church.  How sinful it is to have someone send in a prayer request over something that’s very serious to them and then people use that prayer request as gossip.  I am sure there have been instances where prayer requests were sent in to the church secretary and by the time the last person on the prayer chain got it, it had morphed into something entirely different.  When prayer requests are turned in, the last thing they want is for it to end up like “Hey, did you hear about so and so…they have such and such…and I’m not surprised because…”  Church secretaries are privy to a lot of information that no one else is so they must be responsible in how they treat those prayer requests.

Organized

One of the gifts of the Spirit is that of administration.  My wife is such an organized person and that comes in handy when it’s time to do our taxes.  I don’t have this gift and if it were up to me then we’d be in big trouble when the time comes for us to file our tax returns.  Not everyone is well suited to being a secretary.  Not everyone has the gift of administration. Just because someone desires to be church secretary that doesn’t mean that they are qualified.  What if they put off paying the bills or keeping records of expenses?  The church secretary is accountable to the church and so any church secretary, even if they don’t have the gift of administration, must be organized enough to ensure that when need, things get done, bills are paid, and records are easily accessible.   It’s not always the case but frequently you can tell how well someone is organized by looking at their desk or workspace.

First Impressions

First impressions are truly lasting impressions and so when someone calls into the church, the first person they usually speak with is the church secretary.  That’s why it’s vital to have him or her show godly patience, kindness, and mannerisms.  If a secretary is short with people he or she can give the impression that the whole church must be like that.  Who wants to go to a church where the secretary seems bothered by your call?  Why would anyone want to attend a church where they have been treated rudely or as if their time is more important than the person calling in?

Professional Appearances

You might not think that appearances are all that important but if someone walks into the church, the way the church secretary looks can either help or hurt the image of the church. A friendly and professional appearance and attitude can be the make or break decision as to whether someone wants to attend the church or to be associated with it.  Does the secretary smile when someone comes in?  Are they cordial or are they too informal?  Are they pleasant in nature and easy to speak with?  As with the paragraph above, first impressions can make all the difference.

Responsible

A church is not a business but in many ways, the administrative side should be run like one.  A church secretary, if having the responsibility, should ensure that timely payments are made, that all bills are paid when due, that all records are kept in order in the event that a church board or the pastor needs them.  The last thing you want is to have the power shut off or the water bill unpaid with vacation Bible school coming up.  Not only that, there should be accuracy in church bulletins, no spelling or grammar errors in church correspondence, and no mistakes in the church’s financial records or ledgers.

Computer Savvy

This might not seem important at first glance but today’s technology often requires good computer skills, experience, and knowledge.  Many church calendars are kept by a computer software program.  The secretary should also ensure that there is adequate protection from virus’s and malicious spyware and other such computer threats.  It’s so easy for someone to send what looks like a legitimate email when in fact, it contains a dangerous virus. They should be able to have at least a working knowledge of how the church’s computer system works, how to update the software, and make certain that there is always up-to-date internet security protection.

Conclusion

There are other important traits not mentioned here that a church secretary must have.  Maybe you could add one in the comments section below.  They should have good people skills, typing and administrative skills, good communication skills, good computer skills, but also be responsible.  They must be someone you can depend on. Someone that will hold to strict confidentiality and that portrays a professional appearance and makes a good, first impression and one that is organized and accurate.  A good church secretary can be a great help or a huge hindrance to any church.

8 Responses

  1. Michael Lee

    I like that you addressed what makes a church successful, this is really important all in all, I am from Utah so the LDSads church really set’;s the professional standard. It is also somewhat funny that you mentioned the computer savvy aspect of a successful church, I completely agree I just would not have thought of it!

    Reply
  2. ursula van wyk

    I am a church secretary and believe me it can be un ungrateful work in the fact that alot of people are rude, work is alot yet i Know that my reward is in heaven but i am so happy to work for a godly man and his wife and communication, respect, trust, must be in place. a church secretary must at all times have a solid relationship with God and prayer time is essential. with this God has provided strength, wisdom, patience, love, peace to handle people, church admin, My only aim is that Pastor and his wife live out what God has designed for them to do, and if it means be administrative then i know they dont have to concentrate on this but on souls.

    Reply
    • Jack Wellman
      Jack Wellman

      Thank you so much for your comment. You obviously are a great blessing to this pastor and his wife and to the church too I am sure. You also have a clear gift of administration, and as part of the Body, you make the church more complete. May God richly bless you my sister in Christ.

      Reply
  3. Shelaine Puttonen

    The biggest thing to remember is that being a church secretary or administrative assistant is MINISTRY. No less so than any other role in the church.

    Reply
    • Melissa

      I have been a church administrative assistant for 14 years. If anyone asks me, I tell them that you cannot do this job unless you love the people that you serve. Do that and everything else falls into place. I know that I am blessed to serve my Creator by caring for His people. You are right, it is a ministry.

      Reply
      • Jack Wellman
        Jack Wellman

        Without the full Body of Christ functioning, ministries are not as effective. Your church is truly blessed by such a godly woman servant as yourself.

  4. Christy Plagge

    As a new church administrator I came in after the previous staff member left so I have no idea what she did or didn’t do. I find myself struggling for direction and guidance. I want to know more of what a church secretary does. I know about entering tithes and paying bills but that’s all I know. I had to learn this mostly on my own. I think it’s extremely important to have SOP’s in place to help with anyone that is feeling in or taking over to help make sure things are done properly and that transition is smoother. I would be interested in seeing someone else’s list of things they do daily and what all they help with daily. It would be of great of help. I want to do good for God and not let home down. Like I said before I have never worked in this field before so I have no clue to what to do and I have no one to ask. Thank you. Chayil Christy

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.