And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. (Genesis 1:31a KJV)

Serving as a church administrator, or in any administrative function, is a selfless, often thankless job. Almost all of the administrator’s work is done behind the scenes, often during ungodly hours without a “lunch break” or any days off. It’s tiresome, draining, and can be discouraging at times. Since we operate in the spiritual gift of government (and let’s face it: a lot of folks don’t want to be governed – or don’t want to be governed by anyone but the pastor), administrators are often the targets of attack by church members and leaders alike. We’re often made to fight our policies and procedures battles alone, without defense or support. We’re usually the most unpopular people on the leadership teams, there are no appreciation services or pats on the back from members or guests. We endure a lot, and at the end of the day, we don’t usually get credit or recognition for the work we do.

So why do we do it? We do it because it’s the job we love. Most administrators LOVE their jobs, even with the variables (you may not love the particular church that employs you, may not like your boss, co-workers, church members, etc.). We love the work we do. We love taking a pastor’s vision and outlining the steps to bring it to fruition. We love managing the day-to-day operations, so that the pastors and other leaders can focus on other areas. We love crunching the numbers, drafting the plans, researching new methods to streamline our processes, coordinating events, scheduling, planning, developing, orchestrating… we love what we do.

Confucius, the Chinese philosopher, once said “choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” Having chosen a few jobs I loved, I agree with him. I believe that when you really love your job, you really don’t work. Even on the days when it feels laborious, it’s still a pleasure and it brings a mutual benefit. There’s satisfaction in doing something you love, and when you’re satisfied, it really doesn’t matter whether anyone ever recognizes you for it.

Once in a while, when looking for a file, I come across old programs, bulletins, budget plans, 501(c)(3) applications, policies and procedures manuals, course outlines or perhaps an old syllabus, and I just smile. I remember how God, after He had created the earth and the waters, the vegetation and the animals, looked at His work and acknowledged how good it was.  I’m rewarded simply by looking at the work I’ve done and knowing that it was good and that I contributed somehow to the body of Christ. Of course it’s in our human nature to want recognition or approval, but we can’t wait for people to celebrate the work God assigned and anointed us to do; we have to look over our own work and smile with approval. Ecclesiastes 3:22 says, “So I saw that there is nothing better than that a man should rejoice in his own works, for that is his portion. For who shall bring him back to see what will happen after he is gone?” Enjoying your job, Solomon said, is a gift from the hand of God (Eccl 2:24).

Without much down time or encouragement, it’s easy for us to burn out and even be resentful. But somehow, we have to readjust our focus, remembering the assignment and purpose. I’m fortunate enough to have worked with pastors who never hesitated to say “thank you.” My pastor shows his appreciation very liberally for even the smallest of tasks. But, if he never says “thank you” again, I can look over my work and know that I’ve done something good for the kingdom. Today, I encourage my fellow administrators to behold the work of your hands and rejoice in it; and you’ll never have to work again.