Being a pastor’s administrative assistant can be tough. You have to juggle a ton of details, wear many different hats, know how to balance shepherding people and getting the job done, all while being on call 24/7. In this role, you can easily get caught up in all the things you have to do which puts your identity into a tailspin. On the one hand, you can end up completely losing your sense of self. On the other hand, you can also end up placing all of your value and worth on your accomplishments. Either way, the struggle to keep your identity grounded is a conflict that you need to be able to resolve.
In fulfilling the position of an administrative assistant for the past eight years, God has challenged and grown me in ways I never would have imagined. The role is one that requires unique calling, gifting, and faith. It is a combination of these qualities that allows one to succeed in a position that takes a lot of work and intuition to help someone else thrive in ministry. The ultimate goal of a pastor, as well as their assistant, is to allow the Gospel to shine the brightest.
Challenges of Christ-likeness as an administrative assistant
One of the most challenging aspects of the assistant role is the unseen nature of the job. If you are effective in your work, then the glory does not go to you. You willingly submit yourself to be a servant to all. And this reveals our true hearts and motives in this role. If we serve to glorify ourselves, to gain our own accolades, or grow our platform, we will become tired and weary, frustrated and forgotten. However, if we know that this role is shaping us to be more like Christ in his humility and servanthood, then we serve to become more like Him, and through that, we glorify God. Then in our work, we will grow in our satisfaction and joy knowing we get to take part in His Kingdom.
How Jesus’ serving me allows me to serve freely
« Who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross » (Philippians 2:6-8).
This Philippians passage is a familiar one that often reminds me that if Christ laid Himself down this way, then I should gladly and voluntarily want to do the same. It is magnificent in that it reveals another dimension of Christ in who He is – King of the universe and yet willing to make himself nothing as a servant.
Ultimately, Christ made himself a servant on our behalf so that he could give us the credit of his perfectly lived life. If we know that our Lord would willingly and lovingly serve, to the point of death on a cross, is there anything that we should not do to serve Him in return? Does it matter if we get the credit and accolades from people, our co-workers, or even our boss? We already have all we need from our Lord and King. What freedom we have then to be able to do what God has called us to do, not seeking our glory!
Any role in ministry should point us and others under our leadership, to be more and more like Jesus. He is the ultimate good that we want for ourselves and everyone around us. When we keep our focus on Christ-likeness, instead of building identity through our work, or even the task at hand, we find freedom and empowerment to do all that is asked of us.
So as you grow and develop as an administrative assistant, always remind yourself and believe that your identity is already secure through what Christ did on the cross. This will free you from striving and needing to prove your value or your worth to yourself or anyone else. And because Christ was and is the ultimate servant, we too can joyfully be a servant to all.