Most of us think of delegation as a relief of our own pressure. We think of it almost in a selfish way. Sure, it is a relief to us, but we also need to consider the fact that it’s just as important for the other members of our team.
If we don’t release things into the care of others, then we, as leaders, don’t give them the opportunity to be strategically involved in the vision of the church or organization. When we unnecessarily hold on to things, we stand the risk of not having a healthy work-life balance and possibly even burnout in the future. There's no way that we can do it all. We don’t need to do everything. The health of our organizations depends on us to be good delegators.
Corinthians 12:17-18: “If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling? 18 But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.”
Paul then goes on for the rest of chapter 12 talking about the various gifts and contributions of the body of Christ. We’re all a little different. In fact, our contribution to the Kingdom of God can be as unique to each one of us as our fingerprints. We have different motivations, desires, temperaments, strengths, and weaknesses. We were uniquely and perfectly put together by the hand of God.
I thoroughly enjoy getting into the details of a church, but another pastor may dread the fine details. It’s important to remember this when we’re considering delegation. It raises the importance of delegation. If I don’t delegate, first I’m going to fail in accomplishing everything that I need to accomplish because I can’t do it all. Secondly, someone is going to miss out on his or her personal contribution to the Kingdom of God.
There are tons of things that we can potentially delegate, from small tasks to projects to leadership roles within a ministry to delegating entire ministries. Obviously, the more that’s at stake the more competent and trustworthy the person we’re delegating to must be. This is the very core of leadership. It’s where leadership and influence come into play. If you’re not empowering others to do things to make a difference, then you have very little need for influence. It’s so important that we see the vision behind the need to delegate.
Once we catch the vision of delegation and give something away to someone, the process doesn’t stop there. It’s just the beginning of delegation. There’s so much more to it. The biggest key to successful delegation is within the accountability process. When a person delegates and micromanages, it literally kills the morale and can greatly impact the outcome. Ultimately, the culture of the organization can be damaged if this is the norm.
When a person delegates, it’s important to focus on the desired goal and release control of the process. It’s amazing the difference it can make in achieving a great outcome. It also has the potential to bring great fulfillment to those who are involved. The people you’re delegating to need the ability to make decisions on how to accomplish the goal or task that’s needing to be done. As the delegator, we must resist the urge to jump in and do it for them. We can’t rescue them when it gets tough.
We do need to make sure that we engage with them along the way. It is important to create routine touch points and opportunities to interact. When those times come, ask them how the progress is going and look for opportunities to provide relational nutrients. For instance, if they’re experiencing difficult obstacles, they may need empathy. If they’re making good progress, it could be a good opportunity to give affirmation. If they are falling behind, it may be important to give encouragement. The goal is to let them know we’re there with them. We want to let them know they’re not on an island isolated from us. We need to convey the good to them. On a rare occasion and only if they ask for it, we can offer some insight or perspective. On an even rarer occasion and only if they ask for it, we may even give them advice. The best delegators provide good vision for what’s ahead, and then just give the needed relational nutrients to support the relationship as the individuals walk down the road of accomplishing that vision.
Delegation has been so vital to my life and ministry. I know that it’s what will make or break the success that I have in the future. If I negotiate well, I have no doubt that I'll accomplish big things for the Lord. At the same time and most importantly, I’ll see people around me accomplish big things for the Kingdom of God as well.
Empower people through delegation. I promise you'll be glad you did. I’ll leave you with a few questions to consider:
1. What’s one thing in your life that you're hanging on to that you know you should delegate?
2. What’s one step you can take this week to move towards delegating that one thing?
3. When I take that step of delegation, what do I need to do to release control, but provide relational nutrients of support at the same time?
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