I have been very lucky. In every ministry position I’ve had, I have had a wonderfully gifted and talented administrative assistant. Each time, they have added tremendous value to my ministry by sharing with me their gifts of organization, responsiveness, and timeliness.
The power of a good administrative assistant in ministry is underrated.
That’s why I was floored one day when I heard a manager at a church tell me not to affirm and praise my administrative assistant as much as I do. He said, “she’s just doing her job. You should expect her to do the work you give her without the need to praise her for everything she does.”
I am so thankful for the gift that my administrative assistants have been. They do things I cannot do and we complimented our gifts very well. There are many, many tasks that I have been able to pass on to my administrative assistants over the years because they are more than capable of handling them with a great level of excellence.
Why would I not praise them for that???
That comment has not stopped me from affirming those I minister with on a regular basis. Whether it is an administrative assistant, a volunteer, a fellow staff member, it doesn’t matter. Whether it’s their job does not matter. I am truly thankful for the gifts they share in our ministry. They enhance our ministry in ways that I could never do by myself. That alone requires praise and affirmation.
My rule about affirmation is simple:
Reward the behavior I want to see more of.
One way to reward people is by affirmation. I think our culture lacks positive feedback and affirmation. We crave it. When we get it, we work doubly hard to receive that affirmation again.
When you see someone do something great, even if it is a stranger picking up a piece of trash from the ground, let them know how much you appreciate what they have done. If you mean it, if it’s genuine praise, I guarantee you will see that behavior again.
Name a time when you were affirmed by a leader that you then worked extra hard for that leader. Share your comments with us below.