One really interesting conference that’s started and grown in recent years is the Administrators’ Conference. I remember going to a joint church lunch when Jonathan Fletcher announced that he didn’t believe in church administrators and pointed out that Emmanuel didn’t have one or indeed need one. However, he was wrong then and he’s still wrong now! A whole host of extraordinarily talented people kept administrative stuff off his desk so that he could do what he’s best at; namely preaching, pastoring men and being playfully provocative! And so I think this conference is a brilliant idea. But I’m not sure how widely it’s known. I’m under no illusions. I don’t think that this post will radically change that. The readership of this blog doesn’t extend a whole heap outside my immediate family.
Anyway, it’s organised by three friends of mine: Rosie Dunn from Dundonald Church in south West London, Mary McNeely from Jesmond Parish Church in Newcastle and Sharon Peters from Christ Church Mayfair. That’s a terrific photo of the irrepressible Rosie Dunn on the right.
When we’ve had an administrator on the staff team at CCB we’ve always sent them along. And they’ve loved it. But I’ve never been. I guess it seems a little niche for those of us in full-time gospel ministry. We preach. We don’t plan. Planning is of the devil or at the very least, the flesh we were taught at the Cornhill Training Course. But things may have changed because Adrian Reynolds from the Proclamation Trust is going to speak so perhaps they’ve softened their line! But if we take seriously the leadership component of our responsibility as church leaders then it’s worth serious consideration. Managing the household surely involves elements of strategic planning, implementing change and progressive planning (which are the subjects for three of the seminars). The others are tidy desk v messy ministry, keeping going and making the most of technology. You can download the flyer here.
For the past few years I’ve kicked myself for not getting the relevant part of my anatomy in gear in order to free up the day to attend. This year it’s going to be different. I’m going. And I’m taking our staff team with me. There are more useful seminars than I am capable of attending. And so we can spread the staff and take full notes! We don’t have the luxury of a full-time administrator at the moment. And so we all muck in. And anyway, even if we did have one, administration and organisation is something we’re all inevitably engaged in. And I’m not sure that it needs to be paid staff who attend. Most of our church members work for a living and yet they’re often involved in planning, organising and co-ordinating various ministries in the life of our church. I reckon, if they can take a day off, this would be worth attending.
The blurb on the Good Book Company booking website says this,
For 2013 our topic is one that all in such roles, whether paid or volunteer, will be familiar with: planning. For you, it might come in the form of putting the coffee rota together or perhaps advising the minister on a realistic timetable for rolling out an innovation such as an extra service or new area of ministry – planning is hard to avoid if we’re doing our jobs correctly! And as Christians, we have a great ultimate purpose to all of our planning: serving the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords! Our reference manual then must be the Bible so our main speaker, Adrian Reynolds, honorary Associate Minister at East London Tabernacle Baptist Church and Director of Ministry for the Proclamation Trust, will help us to discover what it has to say on this topic. Adrian is a lively and engaging speaker so we’re looking forward to his application of Ezra to our job descriptions!
This day conference will include a variety of practical workshops containing something for everyone and in addition to talks from Adrian, we’ll have we’ll have book reviews, exhibitors and useful contacts, and a chance to ask questions of our interview panel. One of our primary aims for the conference remains to provide a forum for you to meet others in similar roles and share knowledge and information. We’ll facilitate this by inviting you to sit with others from your local area or region at lunchtime.
We’d love to see you on 18 November to share from our combined experience of 25 years as Church Administrators and to learn from you; plan to be there!
The booking website is here.