One of the best positions I ever had in my church was when I was called as the clerk for my congregation. I was responsible for managing all the congregation’s records and supervising three other clerks (finance, membership, history).
It’s not too often they extend a position like that to someone who has good organisational skills. I was excited, and knew that based on the last few individuals who had been in the position, there would be lots to do.
One of the first things I noticed was wrong was there was no distribution mechanism set up for correspondence. If a letter came in from the headquarters that needed to be distributed to all the congregational leaders or if we needed to get our curriculum orders made, I had to do it all by hand with each person individually. It was the same thing if someone asked me to print off a report (such as a year-to-date budget summary): I would have to track them down to give them the report.
Ironically, in my office, there was a pigeonhole attached to the wall. Despite that a few of the slots were labelled, it was used mostly as a closet; people used it for storing things they didn’t want to bring home.
The first thing I did was clear out the pigeonhole. I put everything into a pile on my desk, and then labelled every mailslot for each clerical position and auxiliary in the congregation.
Following that, I sorted through all the material in the pile on my desk. I shredded anything over a year old (one item was the minutes from a meeting held ten years previous). I reinserted the remaining items into the pigeonhole according to who should own it.
Once I got that out of the way, the next step was to change the process that was used to that point for distributing correspondence.
From that point, every time I had to print out a report, I would tell the person, “I will print it out and put it in your mailslot”, pointing out which mailslot was his/hers. When I needed to copy correspondence for everyone of distribute things like curriculum order forms, I would put them in all the mailslots and inform recipients where they were at our next executive meeting.
Occasionally, I needed to mention reminders in the executive meeting that some mail boxes needed emptying.
Eventually, however, the system became quite successful and everyone came to rely on it.
I am no longer the clerk, but the system still operates today. I often see people come into the clerk’s office to check if anything in their mailslotes.
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