Overcoming Discouragement from Behind-the-Scenes

lightstock_82475_medium_deborah_wipfWhen you mostly work behind-the-scenes, it’s hard to tell if your efforts are making a difference.  You’re leading teams to ensure that donations are recorded, volunteers are trained, services run smoothly, and much more.

As a result, you may not get to see the front-line impact you’re having on people.  That can make the difficult patches even tougher because you’re not seeing the fruits of your labor.  I’ve struggled with the same issue.  Intellectually, I knew that what I was doing mattered, but that didn’t help motivate me emotionally.

After almost burning out a few times, I realized that I needed to seek out stories of how people were impacted by the church I served.  I needed real-life examples of lives changed and people helped to recharge me for my administrative contribution to ministry.

I coordinate a team of volunteers for one of the services at my church.  That includes confirming volunteers for each week, coaching new volunteers, and encouraging the team.  One day, I met a lady who was fairly new to our church and I asked how she decided to make it her home church.  Her face lit up as she told me how welcomed everyone made her feel during her first visit from the parking lot to the sanctuary.  A church full of friendly, smiling people made her feel at home.  The clincher was when she picked up her son and he immediately asked when they could come back.  She and her son fell in love with the church that day.  Coordinating volunteers felt a lot more rewarding after talking with her.  I also relayed her story to my team and it helped them see how their faithfulness was making an impact.

Administrators are the “steady-Eddies” of the world.  Your consistent, faithful service behind the scenes matters.  Every time you review the financials, you’re making sure the church is being an excellent steward of what God has provided.  When you lead your team to recruit and appreciate volunteers, you’re helping more people connect to the church and to enjoy the benefits of serving others.

Don’t let the daily minutia cause you to question whether your work matters.  Find ways to hear the unique stories from your congregation.  Ask your staff to share comments and ministry experiences at the next staff meeting to encourage the whole team.  Collect those testimonials and post them on the walls in your office.  Ask God to bring you back in touch with why you started in ministry in the first place.  Your work supports ministry and is vital to the health of your church.  Never forget that you’re making an eternal difference.

How have you overcome discouragement? What helps you in that battle?