The church secretary (read admin, support staff) is considered the most important person in the church—other than Jesus, of course… So forgive me if I wonder: If I’m the most important person in the church, why is my pay check so small?

What You (our pastor-boss) Want Us to Know (and yes, it’s true)

  • We’re the most important person in the church.
  • First impressions take only 30 seconds to make, and we’re the first impression of the church people get when they walk through its doors.
  • We are what keeps the church running smoothly.
  • We’re the pastor’s right hand.
  • We’re Superwoman, Wonder Woman, and the Black Widow combined in one.

You (our pastor-boss) Expect Us To:

  • Be cheerful and caring all the time.
  • Accept all the jobs thrown in our direction (you know, those that weren’t listed on our job description when we signed away our lives on the dotted line…in blood).
  • Run interference for you and be the bad guy.
  • Take the blame for the music, committee, or youth news that didn’t make it into the bulletin or on the website because no one gave it to us.
  • Cater to the women’s group who wanted to add that announcement about their special prayer meeting…but forgot to tell us when and where it was.
  • Respond immediately to the already millions of “Urgent!” notes on our desk.
  • Consider 4:45 p.m. on a Friday as the beginning of our work week. I’m sorry, but it’s not. And your “Here’s the Scripture for the bulletin, the sermon notes for the PowerPoint, oh and can you just throw in these 20,000 pictures from my mission trip down the Zambesi River, it shouldn’t take too long” could find a stellar place in labor law violations.

What We (your secretaries) Would Like You to Memorize (to ensure efficient, happy working conditions for you…and to protect your life):

  • We don’t do coffee anymore. Nope. No more.
  • Monday is the first day of our work week. (See above).
  • Those selfies have to go.
  • That Hipster look. Meh.
  • We may make our job look easy, but it isn’t, so give us reasonable time.
  • If you’ve been sold a new program or marketing plan, we need to be trained to use it efficiently.
  • Aunt Sally’s printer can’t get the job done. Yes, we do understand it was free.
  • Honour (and make sure others do too) our deadlines—those aren’t cute suggestions.
  • We’d prefer not to be your babysitter (and particularly not anyone else’s in the church).
  • Lunch is not an extra hour we’re tithing to the church.
  • We don’t care how popular and wonderful the world thinks you are, to us you could still be a pain.
  • We’re not the custodian or building engineer or anything else you (or anyone) need us to be at any given moment.
  • Please convince your wife that we’re not “that other woman” in your life.
  • If you think about it, a pay increase would be nice, at lease once every 1,000 years.
  • Compliments work only to a certain extent, and don’t throw us under the bus.
  • After regular work hours, we don’t exist for you. Don’t. Exist.
  • Oh yeah, that short black skirt, leather jacket, and black boots…that stays.

Now if you’re wondering where I am this Saturday evening, I’m enjoying this thing called “a life”—I know, I miss you too and will see you on Monday!

Photo via Flickr