First of all, let’s ask the question, “What is a ministry assistant?” From my perspective, a ministry assistant isn’t a worship leader, or a preacher type of role. Although those positions are necessary, there are definitely other areas where you can be just as effective and useful. A ministry assistant handles a lot of what happens behind the scenes that effectively helps and supports your pastor/leader. This position carries accountability, responsibility, and flexibility. This behind-the- scenes type of role is often overlooked.
As part of my journey for the past two years I’ve had the honor and opportunity to be a ministry assistant. Not only have I been able to learn so much on a ministry level, but I’ve been able to apply these lessons in my personal life as well. The information and lessons I have absorbed have helped me to become a better communicator, organizer, and leader. It may be easy to share tips about how to be more task effective, however I believe those things can be easily learned. I want to share with you how to be an improved assistant on an emotional and spiritual level. So here it goes:
Don’t Take It Personal
This would have to be the most important tip I could give. Confidentiality is extremely vital when working closely with people on an executive level. Working alongside pastors and leaders, you are able to see things from a different perspective. You will see their frustrations and burdens of trying to execute things properly. However, we must remember that God has extended to us an immense amount of grace to our errors and failures, and it is imperative that we extend that same grace to our pastors and leaders. It is very easy to intertwine our feelings and opinions into any situation, but sometimes you have to check your emotions at the door and not let them affect the quality of your service. You’re on a team, and just like playing sports, you should always have the best interest of your team in mind. Your church team is no different. Always remember the significance of teamwork because you will WIN together!
Adapt to Advance
This is another important tip that I would like to share with you. When you work around people who carry a spirit of excellence in all that they do, it is expected that that same spirit will be transferred into you. Some of my tasks include managing calendars, making phone calls, and working on projects given to me by my pastor. These simple tasks have molded me for the next season of being a ministry assistant. Since becoming an assistant, other doors of leadership and opportunity have opened up for me. Currently, I am involved in leading a small group, leading in our young adults, and assisting with our McAllen Gatherings. There have been multiple situations where I was placed outside of my comfort zone, but I had to adapt and rise to the occasion. Unbeknownst to me at the time, those situations would teach me something in my role as an assistant. I have learned that the simple things that you think are not worth your time are actually the things teaching you to be better. Always remember where there is growth, there is advancement.
Time Serving in Ministry Doesn’t Compensate Time with God
You’re probably thinking that this is a given, but it is easy to get overwhelmed with all the tasks and expectations that are required from you as an assistant. We can think that because we are serving that will cancel out our time of getting spiritually fed ourselves. News Flash: It doesn’t. The only way that I am able to do what I do the way I do is because of God. I learned the hard way to be honest with you; I didn’t get to this position knowing everything already. God had to reveal to me a great deal about myself so that I could better serve His people with the gifts He deposited into me BUT…you have to ask Him and seek Him in order to find this revelation.
Don’t run from the expectation that is placed on you, run to it and allow it to help you assist your pastors and leaders on a greater level. I always say to myself that I don’t want to focus on the things I have to do; I’d rather focus at the heart in which I do it. Assisting can be challenging because of the commitment it requires from you, but it ultimately leads to growth that will stay with you.
I hope these tips can help you look at this position from a different perspective. If you are an assistant yourself, then I hope you are able to apply these to your own position. Trust me, I know the overwhelming feeling but I also know the feeling of fulfillment from this position. Being a ministry assistant has allowed me to see what God has in store for me. I consider it an honor and privilege to assist my pastors and leaders at the capacity!
-Jovelli De Leon Jovelli has been attending Cross Church for 10 years and has served as a ministry assistant to Pastor Abram Gomez for the past two years. She holds a degree in Business Marketing from the University of Texas Pan American. She has utilized her leadership skills as a leader for the Cross Church young adults group. Jovelli has a passion for serving others in her church and her community. She currently resides in Harlingen, TX.