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Delegate or Die: Developing Volunteers

Over the years I have learned the hard way that doing the job alone, just doesn’t work.  I should have listened to Three Dog Night.  They tried to teach me that “One Is The Loneliest Number That You’ll Ever Do”, but I just would not listen.  Moses also learned the hard way about doing the job alone.  In Exodus chapter 18 we are told about how Moses did everything in ministry by himself and it was causing problems on the job.  It was hard on the people as well, it was also not good for Moses, and it was not good for his family.  Jethro, Moses father-in-law gave him some very wise advise and counsel.  Simply put he was told to delegate or die.

There is a right and wrong way to delegate ministry to others.  Mr. Webster defines delegation as a person or persons appointed to represent us.  Delegation is not finding someone who is willing and dumping part of your ministry responsibilities on them.  We need others to represent us.  But this cannot happen if you don’t take the necessary steps to make it happen and develop volunteers through action.  We must allow others to get involved.  I know what you are thinking.  My volunteers can’t teach a class or do children’s ministry as well as I can.  That may be true but there was a time in your life when you could not minister as good as you can now.  Someone allowed you to sorry all over a group of kids and get better by doing the ministry hands on.  We must give our volunteers the same chance we were given to learn by doing.

We’ve been called by Jesus to produce fruit that remains.  John 15:16 says “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit –fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.”  You cannot build fruit that will last without putting into others. John Maxwell has taught us, “There is no success without a successor!”  If you are doing things that others can do, it will keep you from doing what only you can do.  When you are doing the things in ministry that only you can do that is when you will hear well done my good and faithful servant.  Let’s take a look at the most famous biblical account of delegation.  It’s found in Acts 6 verses 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 first hand, the disciples were being kept from doing what only they could do, by doing a project in ministry that others could do.  There are people in your church who need to be needed more than you need the help.  They will never be able to rise up and free you to do what only you can do and to accomplish what you have been put on this earth to accomplish if you continue to do most of the ministry as well as the majority of the oversight yourself.