What would you like to see in your church office?

(7 Posts)
Muneca Tue 23-Jun-15 20:55:12

Does your church office (staff) make you feel welcome? Are they friendly and encourage you back to the church? Are they cold and if so do you think or know that the Head Pastor or priest is aware of their attitude? Would you leave this church because of a staff member behavior?

The church staff is a big part of the church, and their attitude or demeanor is very important. Many churches' office are often standoffish, and not at all welcoming. I was just curious as to how one would feel when it comes to the staff.

I happen to go to a Catholic church, and many times I hear people complain about the staff but not actually telling our priest about it, but judging the Church by its staff.

I'd like a large mug of tea and an endless supply of chocolate biscuits in my church office. At the church where I am a Priest we have a lovely administrator who has loads of time for everyone and I wish we could afford to pay for more hours as the office is only open a few hours a week. I'm job hunting at the moment and I'd love to work in a church that has staff but I suspect it will be just me and a hard working printer. I suspect there is a very different dynamic in a large church with lots of staff and a smaller one where everyone knows everyone else and muck in to get stuff done.

autumnboys Tue 23-Jun-15 22:50:47

This is a very good question and as a church administrator I will be watching the thread with interest.

It might be worth suggesting the staff have a look at the UCAN website, which is v helpful and very people focussed. Also, this may sound counterproductive, but encouraging them to have a sign which they can put on the office door to say 'we can't currently accept visitors'. Much better for me to do this for a couple of hours a day when I'm doing something that needs concentration and the I can be smiley and welcoming the rest of the day.

Finally - do they work in a paid capacity on a Sunday? I do an open office a couple of Sundays a month and leave early one day in the following week. This gives people who work in the week a chance to access help/paperwork/what eve conveniently. It also means that on the other Sundays I get to gently say that I'm not working. It's important to be able to just come and 'be'.

Anyway, random thoughts from a church administrator! You should definitely talk to your vicar/priest if you feel the welcome from the office is less than it should be.

Muneca Wed 24-Jun-15 18:52:49

I have volunteered quite often in my church, so I see how the staff handles the coming and going of members having business with the ministries like Faith Formation or Marriage. I sometime have helped out in these ministries during the registration period for the new school year and I get to talk to parents or new members looking for a some information.
Quite often its a mother/father looking to baptize their child or looking to add their child to a sacrament class like Communion or Confirmation.

Many times they are not from the area, or near our church. When asked why are they not baptizing/registering at their church where they attend mass, their answer is almost always the same, "they weren't very helpful or "they seems like they didn't have time for me" or "they have so many restrictions".

I made the thread hoping to find out what more my church can do to make people feel welcome. Or if there something we are missing or not doing enough.
After all we are nothing without our parishioners.

GinandJag Wed 24-Jun-15 19:03:09

We have three admins and they are all lovely. First and foremost, they are church family, and take a full part in the life of the church. They already had strong relationships before being appointed.

LadyCassandra Fri 26-Jun-15 05:42:06

Like Autumnboys I will be watching this one with interest as I am an Office Manager of a largeish Anglican church (not in UK)
Our office staff are all members of one of our congregations, as are our office volunteers which is very important. It was great on my first week to be able to answer the phone and be knowledgeable about a lot of stuff (like playgroups, bible study options, etc) because I had already been at the church for a couple of years.
Personally I think its a customer service role. We have many visitors here from all walks of life, and i think our job in the office is to be the welcoming face of the church. I have "let go" a couple of volunteers who are unable to fulfil this!
In terms of baptisms (and to an extent weddings), there are criteria to be met (ie for baptisms we ask people to do a Simply Christianity course) but these should be explained carefully and considerately. Unfortunately, some people just don't like to hear that they have to do things to be able to get their child baptised.

Muneca Fri 26-Jun-15 20:19:16

Preaching to the Choir LadyCassandra!

We also require them to take a course. (one time, for one hour) and also some restrictions they must meeting, but all in all, its not too bad. BUT we do get some feedback!

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