Can The Church Hire A Secretary?

Can the church hire a secretary? Bible Question.

Question:

“I have been a church secretary for many years. But some of the men here object to the Lord’s money being used to pay a woman, that it gives her too much control. They also think the elders should find some other way to get the work done. I want to do what’s right, so is it right for me to be the secretary?”

Answer:

The apostle Paul had an “amanuensis“, which simply means he had someone to do his writing for him (Romans 16:22; Galatians 6:11; etc.). It just doesn’t make good sense to “hire a preacher” and then have him spend most of his time doing “secretarial work”. He should be free to study, prepare lessons, visit the members and reach the lost.

Most congregations find it expedient to hire a secretary (or an administrative assistant) to prepare paperwork, write letters, administer websites/social media, answer the phones, maintain church records, manage inventory for various church departments, keep up with members’ needs, etc. If it was good for Paul to have a secretary, it usually makes sense for a preacher today to have one.

I seriously doubt that there will ever come a time when every member of a congregation agrees with the elders’ decisions as to how to spend “the Lord’s money”. But someone must make the decision as to how the money is spent, and the Lord has designated the elders to be the “overseers” of the church (Acts 20:28; 1 Peter 5:1 – 3).

It is certainly scriptural for the church to hire a secretary. And if the elders decide it is expedient to do so, it is their right to make that decision. The admonition then is given to the members of that congregation . . .

“Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account. Do this so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no benefit to you.” Hebrews 13:17 (New International Version)

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