The places grace empowers us
Thu May 23, 2013
by Justin Holcomb
‘Each next risk is the biggest one’: James MacDonald talks with Mark Driscoll
Wed May 22, 2013
by Mark Driscoll
Tue May 21, 2013
by Amanda Edmondson
From prison to ReTrain: Russell’s story
Mon May 20, 2013
9 types of leaders in Scripture
Mon May 20, 2013
by Justin Holcomb
11 Pieces of Advice for Assistants
In my world as a pastor’s assistant, the need for hard-working, high-capacity, tough-as-nails assistants is growing.
As people continue to meet Jesus and churches continue to be planted in various cities around the nation, it’s clear that the supporting role of the assistant will be needed for pastors to do what they do best at the highest levels possible. So for the assistant doing his or her job for the first time, here are 11 practical pieces of advice that by God’s grace will help you to be a good assistant.
"And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, helping, administrating, and various kinds of tongues" (1 Corinthians 12:28).
1. Be Humble
“Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another” (1 Peter 5:5). Know that this job is not about getting recognized for your good work, but it’s about the gospel going forward. So seek by the grace of God to be humble, willing to do the smallest to greatest task with everything you got.
2. Become a Generalist
By “generalist,” I simply mean be “able to do a lot of things.” Don’t ever find yourself saying, “I don’t know how to do that,” or “I am not good at that.” Whether it’s typing up a bullet-pointed report, or flying a figurative 747 jumbo jet of a ministry, figure out how to do it—and do it well.
3. Be Steady
"Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain" (1 Corinthians 15:58). There is nothing better then for a leader to have an assistant in his or her court who is steadfast in the Lord, who knows his or her identity in Christ, and has a vibrant, personal walk with Jesus. Make sure that you are taking care of yourself spiritually, physically, and mentally. This way, you will be a blessing and not a burden. The last thing that the person you are assisting needs is always to be having to take care of you.
4. Know Your Leader
As you start your job, it is important that you work extremely hard to get to know your leader. How do they work best? What is their ideal week? What are their personal preferences? What hobbies do they have? What gets on their nerves the most? What are their strengths and weaknesses? The better you know the person you are assisting, the better you will be able to work around them and respond on their behalf as needed. Write down all of the things you want to know about the person you are assisting and send them a list of questions that they can answer all at once.
5. Be Detail-Oriented
Are you OCD? Good. You will need it for this job. Every single detail matters. Not all leaders will be detail-oriented, but will be geared toward big picture vision. You must learn to take their vague vision and make the details happen.
6. Be Diligent
"The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance" (Proverbs 21:5). To be sure, being an assistant can be a fun job that allows you to see parts of the organization that most people don’t get to be apart of. However, there are parts of the job that can be repetitive and not fun at all. You must be able to become diligent in doing the same things over and over and over again with the same passion that you had for them the first time. Overtime, your diligence will bear fruit by helping to serve the advancement of the gospel.
7. You Must Learn To Manage Projects
As an assistant, your job will often be to carry out the projects that your leader speaks into existence. You must learn to organize and drive a small team in order to see the project come to completion.
8. Anticipate Your Leader’s Needs
Look ahead into your leader’s schedule and imagine in your mind that you are him or her, walking into that meeting, or traveling to that place. What would be helpful for you to have? What would you need to get the job done? Figure out what these things are and plan ahead for your leader.
9. Be Proactive
Don’t work only when your leader asks you to do something; you’re not a circus animal. Instead, be proactive, always looking ahead and always looking for other ways that you can assist the person you are working for.
10. Be Self-Motivated
If your leader has to motivate you to work, stop reading this post now because it’s a waste of your time. Your personal work ethic needs to match that of your leader. You need to be self-motivated to work hard every single hour of every day without having to be pushed.
11. Be Able to “Catch” Teaching
Ever heard the phrase “caught, not taught”? As an assistant, you will receive training every single day by the person that you are working for. However, most of the time, this training will be “caught” and will not come directly. Instead, the training will be indirect, and you will have to catch things as you see your leader doing them if you want to learn.
Remember, you can only do this by the grace of God and power of the Holy Spirit. I hope that this list serves you well as I definitely could have used it when I began my job.