My secretary keeps a small sign on her desk,

SECRETARIES RULE THE WORLD.

She definitely rules our congregation's world, not as the autocrat but as the crucial, hidden link in the chain of most church projects. Unfortunately her value is often taken for granted-until the chain breaks or she goes on vacation!

Since our secretaries are such a vital part of the church's ministry, we pastors are wise to use them well. However, I didn't know how to do that. Nothing in seminary prepared me to work with a secretary. Nor had church management seminars addressed the subject.

Consequently, I've spent many hours talking with my present secretary, Janet Grishaber, trying to discover the pressure points and possibilities of secretarial life. Together we've come up with ten things I can do that not only keep her motivated but also help her do her work better.

1. Prepare her for reality. People regularly tell our secretary how blessed she is to work in a church office. She stifles her guffaws. She was fairly ...

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