personal productivity

3 Tasks Every Church Leader Should Give to a Virtual Assistant Today.

As a part of a focus this week helping church leaders kick start the new year . . . this week I’m focusing on hiring Virtual Assistant(s) within the church context.

The time has come you want to try your hand at this whole Virtual Assistant thing . . . you want to try to see if you can export some of your administrative tasks to someone close or far but using technology to super charge your process.

Here are three tasks that I think every pastor should at least try to pass to a VA before deciding whether or not this whole new approach to work is worth exploring.

Starting Out . . . Overnight Illustration Research

We’ve all been there . . . the crunch is on for this weekend.  You’re half way through your prep for Sunday.  You have the scriptures pulled together for the message.  You know some personal stories that will add some flavor.  But you’d love just a little more content to round out the message.  Why not send the data to a research assistant who can work overnight and comb the internet for some spice to the message.  Here are the types of tasks you could send to your VA and have them ready for you when you return to the office the next morning.

  • “I’m looking for 3 examples of YouTube videos that show funny moments around the home with families at Christmas dinner.”
  • “Can you find 5 news stories from this week that talk about adoption?”
  • “I need 10 stats about infidelity.  I need a link to the studies where you find the information. I’m trying to illustrate the level of infidelity in our culture today.”

Stepping Up . . . Managing Your Social Media Channels

Our people are increasingly receiving their communication about the world around them through social channels.  Facebook, Twitter, Linked In . . . the list goes on and on!  As a church leader your job is to be relationally connected . . . but being connected on social networks is time consuming and can be a distraction for many leaders.  What if you had a Virtual Assistant spend 30 minutes every day monitoring and managing your various channels to help keep you connected to these vitally important channels?  Their daily routine could look something like:

  • Log into my social networks and check there are no messages waiting for me there.  If there are forward them on to me.  Respond to all “friend requests”.
  • Take a quote or scripture verse from my message on the weekend . . . and post them on the various channels.  A different one every day.
  • Scan each network and find two or three high leverage action steps for me to take every day. (Have these waiting for me in my email first thing the morning.)
    • Who’s birthday is coming up that I need to email or call? (Get their email address or phone number in my email ready to respond.)
    • A person “sharing” data that I should loop back on check with. (Broken relationships, job stress, etc.)
    • Something that seems to be getting traction from my messages that I need to take note of.

Going Big . . . Booking Appointments

You have time to meet with almost anyone.  Really you do.  I’ve seen Senior Pastors of church 6k-10k people who are more accessible than Pastors of churches a tenth that size.  There is no need to “hide” behind a wall.  I think one of the reasons that many church leaders get overwhelmed with meeting with people . . .isn’t the actual meeting with people . . .it’s booking the appointments and the follow up afterwards.  What if you used a Virtual Assistant to help with this process?  Here are some ways they could jump in and help make the experience better for your people . . .

  • At the beginning of the month you give your VA a list of 15 people . . . their email addresses and phone numbers.  You give them 20 open timeslots in your calendar and two coffee shops that you like to meet at.  With a bit of “template writing” you empower the VA . . . have them contact the people and slot them into the spots.
  • When someone emails you looking for a meeting . . . you simply reply to them and your VA explaining that they are helping find a time that works best for you.  The VA takes over with the “back and forth” to slot them into your calendar.
  • How many times have you come out of a meeting with a “follow up step” but you are driving to the next meeting?  Set up a voicemail box that your VA will check every day and leave the follow up items with them.  “Order a copy of Andy Stanley’s latest book and send it to Bill from me with a note that says . . . “

The world is moving at a fast pace.  As church leaders we trade on relationships . . . our goal is to help people get connected.  Get fierce with your time.  Any time that you aren’t connecting people with each other or Jesus needs to be squeezed out.  That’s not your job.

I bet there is 6-8 hours a week of admin work that you are doing that you could give to a VA and they could do it in 2-3 hours.   Imagine having a whole other day next week to spend doing your job.  It’s ready for you.

On Friday I’m going to be talking about my own ups and downs of working with VAs from aboard and within North America.  In the “bonus content” for email subscribers this week . . . I’m showing you how to quickly find and test a VA . . . today.


  1. “I need 10 stats about infidelity. I need a link to the studies where you find the information. I’m trying to illustrate the level of infidelity in our culture today.”

    I have my conclusion and my advice, but I need some stats to make it look legit.

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