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Delegation in Ministry: 10 Steps to Completing Effective Handoffs


Delegation is crucial for church leaders. Are you making productive use of delegation in your children’s ministry program? Check out these biblical insights and practical tips from a kidmin veteran.

Over the years, I’ve learned the hard way that doing the job alone just doesn’t work. Delegation is essential. I should have listened to Three Dog Night. They warned that “One Is the Loneliest Number That You’ll Ever Do.” As an avid football fan, I should have noticed that teams with the most depth at key positions win championships.

Moses also learned about delegation the hard way. Exodus 18 notes that Moses did everything in ministry by himself, which caused problems on the job. That was tough on the people, as well. It wasn’t good for Moses or for his family. Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, offered some very wise advice. Simply put, he told Moses to build depth!
I know what you’re thinking: “My volunteers can’t teach or do children’s ministry as well as I can.” That may be true. But at some point, you couldn’t minister as well as you can now. Someone allowed you to interact with kids and improve by doing hands-on ministry. We must embrace delegation and let kidmin volunteers learn by doing

If you’re doing things that others can do, it will keep you from doing what only you can do. When you’re doing ministry tasks that only you can do, that’s when you’ll hear, “Well done, My good and faithful servant.” Let’s look at the most famous biblical account of delegation.

It’s in Acts 6:1-4. “In those days when the number of disciples was increasing, the Grecian Jews among them complained against the Hebraic Jews because their widows were being overlooked in the daily distribution of food. So the Twelve gathered all the disciples together and said, ‘It would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the Word of God in order to wait on tables. Brothers, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the Word.'”

Here we see it firsthand: The disciples were being kept from doing what only they could do by doing a ministry project that others could do.

Some people in your church need to be needed more than you need the help. If you continue to do most of the ministry as well as the majority of the oversight yourself? Then others will never be able to step up. In turn, you’ll never be free to accomplish what God put only you on Earth to accomplish.

The world would be in a mess without supervisors and coordinators to serve in middle-management positions. Why can’t we set up middle managers to help us? Phone calls and  returning of messages are some other projects we can easily delegate. But I recommend being slow to delegate to others the handling of difficult decisions.

Jethro warned Moses of this in Exodus 18:21-22. But select capable men from all the people—men who fear God, trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain—and appoint them as officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties, and tens.  Have them serve as judges for the people at all times, but have them bring every difficult case to you; the simple cases they can decide themselves. That will make your load lighter, because they will share it with you.”

You can’t delegate the responsibilities of building relationships with key workers. This is a job you must do. Defining the vision, evaluation, or fruit inspection as well as being ultimately responsible for the success of the children’s ministry are projects only the leader should do.