Holy Trinity now has an almost fully functioning church office. We must thank Colin and Barry who did all the carpentry, carpet fitting, plumbing and electrics. And we need to thanks TNG members Jack, Vinnay and Isha who helped me and Helen paint. It was all done for just under £990 which was very impressive. If you would like to make a donation toward the cost of setting up the office, it would really help, just stick it in an envelope marked marked church office.
The office provides lots of benefits to us as a church. Personally, I have found the separation of study and office really helpful. I do admin in the office and bible study and preparation at home (or in the library). This also means I can separate home and work. I now have a sense of going to work and coming home from work, which is really healthy. I can be at work and then at home with my family.
We are still putting filing systems in place, which should improve communication. We also have pigeon holes for people so that bits of paper don’t vanish into the black hole which was my study at home.
As a staff team, we are already beginning to enjoy the benefits of working together in the office as pastor Richard Perkins wrote on his blog theurbanpastor.wordpress.com about the need for a church office:
Ministry is fundamentally relational. And men (or women) who spend lots of time on their own (in a study/office at home) aren’t preparing well for relational ministry. Gospel ministers need to be people people. And the best ones usually have strong inter-personal skills. It’s hard to develop those when the only person you spend time with is yourself.
We are seeing this benefit but it’s not just the staff who meet each other at the church office. The church hall is a busy place and so staff bump into people in the church hall and there have been all sorts of opportunities for informal ministry and prayer already. I want to encourage more of this informal ministry. Please feel free to knock on the door if you see the lights on in the church office. One of my favourite bands growing up was called “The Colorblind James Experience.” The line of the last verse of the song “Considering a move to Memphis goes like this”:
When I arrive in Memphis I’ll put a sign out on the door
“It’s ok to disturb me, that’s what I came here for”
We want to be the office to be a place where it is okay to be disturbed at work. People are more important than preparation. In general, there should be someone in the office in the morning from Monday to Thursday. If you know someone is in, feel free to knock and come in. If it’s not convenient to chat for long, we’ll say so and arrange another time to meet.
The new phone number for the office is 0121 553 0227. If there is no one there, you can leave a message on the answer machine.
Creating a church office seems like a simple thing, but hopefully we’ll see lots of benefits in ministry as I’ve outlined above and perhaps more.