4 Reasons to Delegate in Ministry
While some may follow Napoleon Bonaparte's advice that “If you want a thing done well, do it yourself,” anyone who has tried to lead a ministry knows that this management style is a recipe for frustration. Instead, healthy leadership means you must identify, train, and empower others to effectively work alongside you. And that means delegating.
1. Create the leaders of tomorrow
Initially, it might feel easier to do all the work yourself. Why wouldn’t it? If you do everything alone, you don’t have to articulate your thoughts, clarify meaning, provide context, or answer questions.
Although you may save time in the short-term, you’ll lose more in the long-term.
When the time comes for the inevitable leadership transition, the amount of training someone would need to step in and take your place could be overwhelming. What’s more, without trained and prepared leaders among the next generation of volunteers, work that took years to build can get washed away amid the confusion of transition.
Don’t let that happen.
Instead, begin sharing responsibilities with the next generation of leaders today so that when it’s time to switch, they’ll be ready to take over where you left off. When you delegate, you ensure the sustainability of the ministries you love.
2. Encourage investment in service
As you may have discovered, you find your best leaders among your most engaged volunteers. One key to engagement is allowing volunteers to feel a sense of ownership in their work, and this comes through delegation.
Rather than creating a culture of passivity among volunteers by hoarding all the decision making and responsibility among one or two leaders, delegation creates a culture where volunteer time, opinions, and experience matter. Once volunteers feel that their efforts count, they’ll be encouraged to invest their time and energy into service.
What’s more, when you delegate strategically — by sharing responsibilities that are in alignment with volunteers’ interests and skill sets — you create more reason for volunteers to feel connected to the ministry. Develop a healthy, thriving ministry made up of engaged volunteers by handing over tasks that are linked to the unique gifts and passions of your volunteers.
*3. Free up time for high-level tasks *
It’s easy to get bogged down in the details — especially as a leader. But it’s important for leaders to do more than keep their heads above water if they’re going to cast the vision and drive the direction of ministries. By delegating responsibilities, leaders can free up more time to invest in the high-level aspects of ministry, such as strategic planning and training.
What’s more, many volunteers may come to the ministry with years of experience and have a minimal learning curve for tasks that might take leaders hours, weeks, or months to learn. Not only will leaders save time by handing over some of their tasks to others, but the work may consume less ministry time overall when someone knowledgeable and experienced completes the tasks.
4. Foster a culture of accountability
When you delegate, you create a culture where accountability is the norm. By allowing others to own segments of the overall ministry, fewer issues slip through the cracks.
For example, by delegating leaders to oversee smaller groups of volunteers within the ministry, it’s easier for them to keep track of individual volunteer involvement rather than one ministry leaders tracking dozens, or even hundreds, of volunteers. It would be easy for patterns of involvement to be missed. But with smaller groups, accountability increases as fewer negative patterns are missed.
This is true in all aspects of ministry, from finances, to program planning, to volunteer involvement, and more. Delegate to ensure that fewer things are missed and accountability increases so that your ministries can thrive.