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. Being a avid football fan I should have noticed that the teams with the most depth at key positions always win championships! (Roll Tide, Go Saints!)
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 build depth!
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.
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.
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 ten steps I use in effective delegation that will help you to develop depth in your volunteers through action and cause you to be a master of delegation and duplication.