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Church clerks, or church secretaries, are responsible for all administrative functions in their church. They prepare announcements about Sabbath or other celebrations, and maintain records of business and church board meetings. Financial statements, quarterly or annual reports and most other church documents are legally required to be available to the public. Church clerks make sure that all records are accurate, copied, and published or posted for church members and the general public.
Strengths and Skills
Churches have varying requirements for clerks, but most require candidates to be a member of the church in good standing. Often, a candidate's willingness and ability to complete the tasks are just as good as demonstrated experience. Clerks should be familiar with the congregation and have a thorough understanding of bookkeeping. They need an eye for detail, a knack for time management, legible handwriting and the ability to take notes quickly and accurately.
Distribution and Communication
Church clerks are often in charge of a variety of tasks, which may include handling phone calls or directing public relations activities. They sort and distribute mail, handle emails, send thank you notes, and record information regarding church members' milestones, such as weddings, communions, bar mitzvahs or funerals. Members often refer to their church's memos, directory or bulletin boards to see what's new. Clerks update this information regularly, posting details regarding meetings, events and announcements.
Documentation and Maintenance
Church clerks are entirely responsible for all forms and records, including documents for transferring or dismissing members, signup papers, disbursements and balance sheets, vouchers, receipts, baptism certificates and lists of committees. Pastors or church administrators may direct clerks to perform other essential duties, such as paying bills, maintaining tax files and scheduling service calls for office equipment. Some clerks perform housekeeping tasks around the office, and set up or order decorations and supplies for holidays and celebrations.
Income and Outlook
The national average salary of church clerks was $32,540 per year as of July 2014, according to CareerBuilder. The employment outlook for church clerks may be influenced by the growth of churches. According to the Leadership Network's 2010 Large Church Salary and Benefits Report, all churches with more than 10,000 members grew between 2009 and 2010. The report notes that 74 percent of churches with between 1,000 and 1,999 members, and 80 percent of churches with between 2,000 and 2,999 members, also grew during that time.
Based in the Northwoods of Wisconsin, Megan Torrance left her position as the general manager for five Subway restaurants to focus on her passion for writing. Torrance specializes in creating content for career-oriented, motivated individuals and small business owners. Her work has been published on such sites as Chron, GlobalPost and eHow.