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Delegate or Die: Developing Volunteers

There are some projects that are easier to delegate than others.  There are other projects that you should never delegate or if you do delegate, delegate with caution.  Some of the responsibilities I have chosen to delegate are teaching, care-giving things like Hospital visitation, some counseling, visitation, and follow-up.  You can also delegate some of the oversight of children’s ministry.  The world would be in a mess without supervisors and coordinators to serve us in middle management positions. Why can’t we set up middle managers to help us. Phone calls and the returning of messages are some other projects that can be easily delegated to others.  I would recommend that you be slow to delegate the handling of difficult decisions to others.  Jethro warned Moses of this very thing 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 cannot delegate the responsibilities of building relationships with your key workers. This is a job that you must do.  Defining the vision, evaluation or fruit inspection as well as being ultimately responsible for the success of the children’s ministry of your church are projects only the leader should do.  

With these things in mind let’s take a look at fifteen steps I use in  effective delegation that will help you to develop your volunteers through action and cause you to be a master of delegation.

1. Identify what you need to be doing.  Let’s take a look at Acts 6: 2 one more time.  “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.”  The disciples were not too good to wait tables but this project was keeping them from what they needed to be doing.  There are loads of good ideas and projects that keep us from doing the God inspired and directed projects, He has for us to do.  I have come to realize that It’s more important that I train, guide, manage and recruit than teach, sing, perform and be the only person that the children identify with.  The best thing I can do to grow is to allow others to be involved and not be a one man show.

2. Identify things others can do and let them do it.  Start with jobs you are doing that others could do if they were properly trained and coached.  Next identify areas you could use a worker if people were no problem.  Don’t think that the same actions will bring different results because same actions always bring the same results.  “If you want what you have never had, you must be willing to do what you have never done!”  The same is true for every volunteer.

3. Qualify all workers.  The disciples didn’t just turn this responsibility over to just anybody.  They found people from among them.  People who were known.  There were requirements needed to do the job like being full of the Spirit and being full of wisdom. Jethro also gave Moses requirements for workers in Exodus 18:21   “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.  A major rule of delegation is qualify who you delegate responsibility to.  Are they capable and able?