When I first started in ministry, my pastor stayed on me for an entire year about my lack of delegation . . . it seemed that every time we talked he would bring up delegation. My pastor never let it go because he knows that coming to understand delegation is a process, it takes time. Now that I have a staff of my own I’ve started helping them through the process as well . . . and I’ve discovered two roadblocks that we’ve all had to face in order to move forward with delegation.
FIRST ROADBLOCK: The fear of giving your job away . . .
So many fears and insecurities rise up when you begin the process of learning about delegation. The first question that always arises is, “Will I give my job away?” Let me just say this, if your in ministry and you delegate your job away then you are my hero! Bottom line: it’s not possible. And besides, delegation isn’t about giving all of your responsibilities away . . . it’s about identifying those things only you can do and allowing others the chance to shine carrying out the rest under your leadership.
But this leads us to another issue of delegation . . . being OK with letting others shine. It’s OK, we’re all human beings here, and that means we like getting credit and getting that pat on the back for a job well done. So what will happen when you delegate a certain role to someone else who does a better job than you? OH NO! Well, take a deep breath because you did your job well if you delegated a role to the right person . . . the person YOU KNEW could do the job better than you. Brag about them to your leadership! Let them shine! And rest easy knowing that your leaders and supervisors view you in a higher regard knowing that you’re the type of leader that can assemble a SUPER-TEAM in order to dominate the ministry you’ve been tasked to lead.
SECOND ROADBLOCK: I won’t have anything to do . . .
This hurdle causes panic for some, but here is the truth: When you delegate you will find yourself no longer running around like a chicken with his head cut off (poor chicken), and yes, you’ll be going home on time and no longer working late hours every night. If you think that is bad news, then buddy . . . you’re a workaholic (and that’s not a compliment). And on Sundays you might actually get to walk around slowly at church and interact with kids, parents, and volunteers . . . that’s huge!
But none of that means you’ll no longer have anything to do . . . when you delegate you elevate your role from ground level to a 30,000 ft view of what’s really going on in your ministry. You go from doing everything on your own to leading others to carry out the mission that makes up your ministry. On top of that, you will still reserve certain roles for yourself . . . these are roles that you and your leadership feel that only you can do . . . better than anyone else. But now, since you no longer have a million things going on at once, you’ll be able to carry out those few roles with excellence on top of leading and investing in your team.
A wise man or woman knows his or her limitations . . . so find those areas where you are weak and delegate it to someone who can do it better under your leadership. Find those jobs you no longer have time for and find those people around you that are looking for more responsibility in the church. YOU CAN DO THIS! When you start to feel the fear of delegation just remember this: If there is something that you know you can do and your mind keeps throwing up road blocks, just know that you can drive right through them.
And by the way . . . thanks Ron Edmondson!