Remembering our own Administrative Professional
April 21 – 27 is Administrative Professionals’ Week this year; with April 24th being Administrative Professionals’ Day. I wanted to recognize someone who has contributed greatly to the ministry of this church by working hard week after week doing routine tasks.
It was the fall of 2007. Our church secretary at that time, Jen Stahl, had asked for some days off and we were looking for someone to help fill in. One of our “new” members, Monique Dorow, emailed me on October 23, 2007: “I spoke with Jen and I’m on board for filling in next week and in the Dec./Jan. stretch. I’ll go in for a little training before she is gone next week.” When Jen took maternity leave for Addilynn (Addi) in the spring of 2010, Monique was ready to step in and fill the position temporarily. Later that year at the October meeting, the congregation voted to hire Monique part-time, to share the 25 hours with Jen. With Andy on the way, Jen submitted her letter of resignation in December and Monique took the position. As the demands of the job have increased over the years so have her hours. She now commonly works over 40 hours a week.
Bulletins, newsletters, prayer requests, entering attendance, entering new people into our church database, providing reports to track newcomers’ progress towards membership, i.e. cookie delivery lists, putting together new member packets, staff meeting notes, scheduling rooms, creating post cards, sending post-cards, keeping schedules, annual reports, tracking membership, copying materials, keeping the copier supplied, keeping track of people, sending reminders to staff, including me, are just some of the things that Monique does all the time.
Besides the many routine demands, Monique comes up with creative solutions time after time to do our work smarter and better. She entered much of our information into our current church database and has developed some very useful report formats. While Planning Center Online wasn’t her idea, she did the heavy lifting in implementing this tool and has had several ideas since its implementation to use it more effectively. She found a scheduling app online that keeps team leaders and staff informed on which rooms in our facility are scheduled when. She migrated all of our team leader and church files to Dropbox, an online filing system, for easier access to all the church team information. She developed a custom spreadsheet report for tracking our visitors. She recently found a tool that allows her to schedule visits on my calendar. As we are on (or over) the brink of needing more administrative support, she recently developed an incredible tracking tool to identify how many hours of her month go to each staff member and to which tasks.
Beyond the job description, she cares deeply about people in this congregation and the staff. Until recently, she had been Jim Kramer’s personal IT support person. And like a true professional IT support person, her first line was always, “Have you tried shutting down and restarting your computer?” She gave people who didn’t have a vehicle rides to church. She remembers important things that I might forget, like this recent e-mail: “I just noticed this recent widower’s anniversary is this week.” She takes meals to members. She waters plants when others are out. Through the years she has been a key volunteer in Cubbies, an AWANA Co-Commander, and is now a youth worker (with some of those grown up Cubbies). She engages in caring conversations with some of our elderly members when they come through.
How blessed we are to have a hard-working, dedicated, caring, support person helping us follow Jesus…further! This April I hope you will take the opportunity to communicate your appreciation and encouragement to our own administrative professional, the one and only, Monique!