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.
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. You can’t build depth without allowing others to have playing time!
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?
4. Define exactly what you want done. Everyone needs a job description. Especially volunteers! They also need checklist to show them what you want them to do as well as to provide a way to communicate with you what was done. Remember to always do what is best for the children and not what is only best for adults. Rotation doesn’t work in building volunteers through action. Look at verse 22 of Exodus 18, “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. This was not a once a month job but something that was an all the time commitment.
5. Train and teach those you recruit. Exodus 18:20 tells us to “Teach them the decrees and laws, and show them the way to live and the duties they are to perform. You must model to others how you want it done. Classes are good, but hands on training is better. Christians are the only people group I know that confuse the word training with verbal instruction. Every secular job that offers training does so by verbal communication in addition to the hands on training and mentoring. You don’t have to be the only model. I use my staff, master teachers and coordinators to help me train and equip others. Everyone should be helping in the training and equipping process.
more to come...