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Career Story: Church Administrator

Church Administrator

Job Title: Church Administrator

Education: BA, Elementary Education, Leslie College (Cambridge, MA) •• MA, Day Care Administration, Wheelock College (Boston, MA)

Previous Experience: I worked as a lead infant teacher in a day care center. I was also the administrative assistant to the president of a small personal growth seminar company.

Job Tasks: I am the administrator for a church. I am the one who answers the phone, keeps a database of visitors and members and produces the bi-weekly newsletter. I am the one full-time presence at the church and so I deal with the mail coming in, vendors and maintenance workers. I accept deliveries and schedule rentals of the building.

I produce a newsletter every two weeks that covers information about upcoming events. I supervise volunteers who fold and label the newsletters. I am the one who gets the newsletter delivered to the post office.

I am often the first responder to people dealing with a death in the family. It is important that I be a calm and centered person. I will pass the information on to the minister who will then contact the family.

The calendar is also part of my job. I keep track of all events scheduled at the church and make sure that there are not two competing events happening at the same time. The calendar is available from the church web site.

I update the website weekly, posting news of upcoming events as well as posting sermons and other documents.

I work as part of a team to produce the morning worship service. I type and print the morning bulletin and make copies. I produce announcements and collate them into the bulletin.

The fun part of my job is the interactions with the many people that call and come into the church. I get to work with a variety of people, mostly volunteers, and support a good cause.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of the job is the flexibility I have with my hours. I can take time to see my grandson's play at his school and I get to work part-time in the summer. I am appreciated for the work that I do and get acknowledged regularly.

The worst part of the job is when people call me at home with questions instead of calling the office. It often feels like I am always on duty.

Job Tips:
1. Know your boundaries. People will ask you to do things that are not part of your job description and it is always good to have a ready response. My favorite one is "I believe that is a *** committee issue. You should call X who's the committee chair."

2. Set a schedule for doing those jobs that you do not like to do. Mark your calendar with "clean out the mailing list" or whatever job you don't like to do and have the calendar remind you when it's to be done. Then you don't have to think about it.

3. Don't try to do too many things at once. Answering emails, writing up announcements and entering data into the database all at the same time can bring mistakes and embarrassing errors.

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