Churches – and their pastors – are busy. Like, busy busy. Their responsibilities are as urgent and varied as those of a Fortune 500 CEO – but with little or no dedicated administrative resources.
Ideally, pastors and church leaders should spend the bulk of their time and energy shepherding those God has brought through their doors and entrusted to them, but often, the brunt of everyday administrative responsibilities – bookkeeping, scheduling, social media, maintaining the church website, and more – falls squarely on their shoulders.
And if you’re a growing church – and we pray that you are – these issues are only further amplified. An influx of new members means even more administrative work but with the same brave few at the helm juggling it all.
There has to be another way, right?
We’re so glad you asked – because there is!
With virtual assistants, the brunt of the administrative load can be delegated to someone who has the skills to execute on those tasks faster and more efficiently, leaving church leaders to focus on why they became church leaders in the first place: their people.
Here are two huge areas your church’s virtual assistant can manage for you:
Sure, this one seems painfully obvious since it’s part-and-parcel to any assistant’s purview, but in case you needed some inspiration as to what you could delegate to your church’s virtual assistant, here’s a quick-and-dirty list.
Research. Need a little more content to round out Sunday’s message? Your VA can search the internet for some flavor – and maybe even supporting information – to complement your message.
Inbox. From email, to social media, to virtually any other outlets with DM, your VA can help you (re-)gain control of your inbox overload. Extra credit for directing them to this article as a resource.
Social Media. Your VA can take a quote or scripture verse from your Sunday message and share it on your church’s various channels. They can also scour each network to identify a few high-priority action items for you, like upcoming birthdays or calls to make.
Scheduling. At the start of each week, give your VA a list of people, events, or appointments that need scheduling, along with access to your calendar for available time slots.
Follow Up. How many times as a church leader have you spoken with a member of your congregation or left a meeting and thought, ‘I need to follow-up with them’ or ’I need to remember to do *insert any task* – and forgotten entirely? Instead of having the best intentions with spotty follow-through, set up a voicemail that your VA can check every day and take action for you.
As a church leader for a small to mid-sized church, your job is to connect with people in faith. A bookkeeper’s job? To handle the dollars-and-cents, nickels-and-dimes so you can focus on doing just that.
‘Wait,’ you say. ‘Weren’t we just talking about virtual assistants?’
Well, yes. Yes, we were. But your virtual assistant may also be able to handle your bookkeeping, too.
From maintaining your financial records, including records of the dates and amount of every transaction, tax planning, financial planning, consulting services and more, your church’s virtual assistant acts as both accountant and treasurer, in charge of all financial aspects of the church, including:
Recording tithes, offerings and any other church income
Depositing receivables into church account
Reconciling petty cash receipts
Balancing checking and investment accounts
Preparing weekly, biweekly, monthly, and yearly reports of the church's financial records
Creating a yearly budget
… and more
(Re-)Focus on People, Not Projects
‘Sounds expensive,’ you mumble defeatedly to yourself.
Virtual assistants can be retained to work on an as-needed, project-specific basis or for employment in perpetuity – so you don’t have to worry about ‘finding’ work for them to do or maximizing your investment.
Another advantage is that they are responsible for their own taxes and benefits. Further, you don’t have to worry about payroll taxes, pensions, vacation, holiday, retirement, or other benefits, and you aren’t responsible for other often overlooked expenses, such as utilities.
BONUS: Virtual assistants are responsible for their own personal equipment such as furniture, office supplies, computers, printers, faxes and more.
No different than any other leader – CEO, startup entrepreneur, or business owner – church leaders should follow the lead of their executive peers by enlisting the help of a virtual assistant so they can instead focus on their primary mission: tending to the spiritual needs of their church and community.