Daniel the Administrator

I have just been sent a job advertisement, so that I may forward it on to any interested persons, or, to quote the cover letter,  

‘…anyone in your congregation who has the heart of a Daniel and would like to join us’.

‘The heart of a Daniel’. I’m guessing this refers to the Biblical prophet rather than some other Daniel, such as actors Radcliffe and De Vito, Hannon the politician, Boyle the director or Green the basketball player.

“Of course it refers to Daniel the prophet!”, I hear you impatiently respond.

Yet these are the duties which this latter-day Daniel will be asked to perform:

  • The writing, and coordination, of fundraising applications
  • Ensuring that Health and Safety policies are up to date and that requirements are followed
  • Writing and preparing content for our website, newsletter, social media etc.
  • Monitoring our CCTV system.

I’d rather wash my hair in a bucket of wallpaper paste than spend the rest of my working life doing those. Is this really what Daniel the Hebrew would be found doing if he were alive today? We know he spent time praying, being a vegetarian, interpreting dreams, being thrown to lions and seeing strange visions. Perhaps, if I had opened the attachment, I might have found these qualities among the ‘desirable’ characterises listed on the person spec. Yet we know Daniel was also a senior administrator of the neo-Babylonian empire, and the Persian province which it later became. He may have managed the provisioning of the troops, the maintenance of roads, the co-ordination of tax collections. None of this sound terribly exciting, yet it was his job, and it all needed doing. Writing and updating policies is not something I enjoy nor complete with any particular skill; co-ordinating funding applications is another important role at which I would baulk. Yet it must evidently be done if this organisation is to flourish.

1 Cor. 12:28 states God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues.

So administration is a holy office and a function which the churche of Christ both requires and appoints. It is unglamorous work, but, like a church’s sound desk, everyone notices when it has not been done properly. Whereas preachers and pastors are sometimes heaped with praise by grateful congregations, I wonder if they have received their reward in full. The quiet administrators, cleaners and general get-on-and-doers may yet be better rewarded.

May this Daniel be found.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay