Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Inside The Eric Trap: Delegation

Besides Sam, Kenny & myself, there were some amazing Kidmin folks who wrote part of this book. Each one wrote practical answers and solutions to offer suggestions to each of the 5 traps Eric and the rest of us get traped in doing ministry. One of those wonderful leaders is Craig Gyergyo. Craig is the Children's Pastor at Hope Church in Memphis, Tennessee.
Craig had the asignment of writing about delegation or doing the job allone.
Here's just a sampling of what he had to say...

Several years ago, I had the opportunity to be a summer intern at a church in my hometown. I was really excited about this particular opportunity because the senior pastor of this church happened to be one of my personal church heroes. All summer long, I followed in the footsteps of this wonderful leader as we ministered to kids at camps, went on mission trips, and delved into all of the business of the church. That summer I spent hours upon hours with this hero of mine. We shared a cabin at camp and a cot in a rundown hotel room in Mexico. (It doesn’t get much closer than that, folks.) I walked away from that internship a better minister and leader than I was when I began. It was truly a thrill to serve alongside this man that I had looked up to for so many years. I learned how to communicate the gospel more effectively, and I observed as this pastor masterfully planned and executed faith-rich programs for kids of all ages. I was in awe (and still am).

Ninety-five percent of what I learned about ministry that summer was from the pastor’s example. I learned lessons on everything from the importance of keeping a timely schedule to leading worship. As for the other five percent of my “summer education,” well, no one is perfect, right? Early on, it was clear that this pastor liked to do things himself—with no help from anyone else, thank you. For instance, one day while in the office, the pastor gave me a to-do list. The list included, among other things, database work. The pastor took time to explain to me exactly what he wanted me to do. He began to tell me exactly which information was important to enter into the database and how to do the job. Then, abruptly, the pastor stopped what he was saying, looked at me, and said, “You know what? This job is going to take you twelve hours to complete, but it will only take me about an hour and a half . . . outta my way.” Just like that, my to-do list got a little bit shorter. This was the beginning of a trend. Throughout the summer, items from my task list were transferred from my file to his.

You’re probably thinking, well, maybe you were just not up to the task. (It wouldn’t be the first time that someone accused me of that, by the way. Did I mention that I work at a church?) In the right circumstances, this accusation could be true of any of us, but in this case we are talking about tasks such as data entry and organizing camp skits. It’s not as if he were asking me to fly a group of fifth- grade boys from the campfire to the moon in a rocket ship. No, this pastor had an underlying belief that he would often quote: “If you want something done right, you’ve got to do it yourself.”

How many of us subscribe to that same thinking? Far too many of us if the truth be told. Contrary to what we tell volunteers, parents, and staff; we all too often believe deep down that we are the best (and maybe the only) people to do the job right. Sure, we’ll allow someone else to sort the popsicle sticks into bins or maybe let someone else decide which toppings to get on the pizza now and again, but all of the really big stuff—the important stuff—is left for us. That means that the lesson making, speaking, teaching, e-mailing, recruiting, advertising, praying, and all other verbs associated with our ministry that have the -ing suffix are our jobs. Why? Because if you want something done right, you’ve got to do it yourself. That’s why.

There’s something that you and I need to know. Make sure that you are sitting down for this because you may find this to be surprising: GOD NEVER INTENDED FOR ONE PERSON TO RUN THE ENTIRE CHILDREN’S MINISTRY. Though Jesus, in fact, did say, “Let the little children come to Me,” (Matt. 19:14), I don’t believe that it was his intention to be a solo act. You see, the Scriptures compare the church to a body. A body has many different parts, and those many different parts have many different functions. All come together under one head, however, to work in a concerted fashion. A heart cannot do what a stomach can do; a mouth cannot do what an ear can do, and so forth. Still, all of these body parts are indispensibleindispensable to the functioning of a healthy body. So it should be with the church.

The healthy church or ministry looks like a body with many different people bringing many different gifts and talents together under one head—the Lord Jesus—to work in unison and bring God’s kingdom here on earth as it is in heaven. What would our churches look like if we took steps toward forming a community of people with God-given gifts and talents within our ministries rather than staging a one-person show? Our ministries would look a lot more like what God intended. In order to make this vision a reality, we have to be willing to delegate and start acting on our belief that God has created the church and all ministry with a team in mind.

What more Eric Trap? You can buy the book on my site, or Amazon. It's also available for the Kindle.

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