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“The Christian life is a series of new beginnings.” – Pastor Clarence Sexton

I love bringing in a new year! What a great time to organize our lives and evaluate areas we would like to place a new and fresh
emphasis. As church secretaries, this is a great time to evaluate and reorganize our church offices. May I highlight four areas that need your attention in the coming new year?

The Church Calendar

Pick one calendar to be this year’s MASTER CALENDAR. I prefer electronic calendars (like a Google calendar or iCal) because of their abilities to sync with everyone in the ministry, send you reminders, and most importantly, not get lost. But even if you prefer to go old school with a day planner, the same idea will apply. My Dad (who pastored in Ohio before going home to the Lord) loved “techy” stuff, but even he preferred a dry-erase Year At-a-Glance Calendar he kept pinned up in his office.

Once you have a master calendar selected, pick a COLOR-CODING SYSTEM for each aspect of the ministry. For instance:

Church Event                           Red
Christian School Event           Blue
Pastor’s Family Event             Purple
Youth/Children’s Activity       Green

This way, when you look at your calendar, you can quickly see what is coming up. This will help you prepare ahead of time…in theory.

Establish a Filing System That Works

Filing is not about storing in an organized fashion; filing is about retrieval. With that in mind, come up with a filing system that works for you. That might mean that you micro-file documents you retrieve often (like Missionary Letters from the Smiths) or perhaps you can get away with using broader filing topics (like 2015 Letters). There is no right or wrong way to file, as long as the filing system helps you quickly retrieve what you are looking for.

 Avoid Pile-ups

Not in traffic; I am referring to your desk. I am one of those people that sees a scrap of paper and gets 101 ideas of what I am going to do with that scrap of paper. I place it on my desk to carry out my brilliant idea the minute I have time to do so. Unfortunately that minute never comes and by the end of the day, I have a 100 other items on my desk with similar good intentions attached to them, now drowning in a paper sea of never-to-be-found-again mess. Try this instead: have two boxes or trays and a trash can at your desk. One tray is for items your Pastor needs to see and one is for items someone else needs to see (such as a staff member or church member). If it doesn’t need to go in one of those two trays, file it immediately or throw it away immediately. Pile-ups are thieves that steal time from your already busy day!

 Organize your Messages

Decide how you are going to get messages to your pastor during the day. How does he prefer to get his messages? A reminder sent to his phone? A note handed to him when he comes in the office? (If the latter, use a message book with carbon paper, so you can keep a record.) The key to handling messages is the follow-up. Resolve that messages will not be lost on your desk!

What are some of your church office organization tips? Leave them in the comments below!

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