You need help. This is especially true if you are a church planter, small business owner, or entrepreneur. In each of those cases, the needs are seemingly endless and the resources limited. Where can you turn for experienced help when you can’t afford a full-time hire?
Here is a great solution: a virtual assistant. Up until about a year ago I didn’t know that VA’s even existed. I’ve been using one for the past 3 months from EA Help and I can tell you it has been a game-changer. Let me first share with you the biggest outcome I’ve seen and then I’ll tell you how we structure our time to be the most effective.
The Biggest Outcome
There is a major shift that every pastor needs to make if they go from pastoring at a larger church to pioneering a church plant: you need to go from being a specialist to a generalist. This can be really uncomfortable because you’re not able to work in your strengths as often as you like. The analogy I’ve used is that I’ve been throwing with my left hand for the past four years and now I’m learning to throw with my right. It is the same motion but it feels awkward.
Having a virtual assistant enables me to delegate tasks where I’m weak and to be able to minster and lead more frequently with my strengths. My virtual assistant has years of experience working in very dynamic office environments which helped me to trust as I delegated. That trust, her competency, and the ability to delegate enabled me to lead and serve our church plant better.
How We Set Up for a Win
A big part of setting up our working relationship for a win was the preparation I did in advance. First, I assessed my strengths and weaknesses, our core team, where we wanted to be as a church in a year, and what it would take to get it there. Then, I identified all of the tasks only I should and could do, and which I could delegate. Since my priorities involved preaching, shepherding, and gathering, and since administrative tasks make me lose my mind, I have handed Leah a lot of long-term administrative tasks. Here are some of the things she has helped me with.
• Setting up a meeting w/ a city council member. (Harder than you think)
• Getting liability insurance.
• Finding options for service opportunities in the area and scheduling one for us.
• Scheduling our elder meetings six months out.
• Finding options for a sermon transcription service.
• Connecting with local Christian universities to schedule a professor to do a seminar on church history for our people.
• Working out all the front-end details to organize a marriage event.
• Creating and maintaining a spreadsheet of potential spaces for worship gatherings.
In conclusion, whether you are planting a church, running a small business, or starting a new venture, I’ve found a virtual assistant to be a great addition to the team. It is a cheaper option than a full-time staff position without sacrificing experience and competency. Even though Leah isn’t in Orange County, she has served our young church plant faithfully and helpfully. Thank you EA Help!
Hope that helps!