Over the past several years I have really began to work on delegating.  I am still not where I want to be but a couple of years ago I began to see the benefit of it in my ministry.  In ministry if you do not learn this skill you will not last long.

I am responsible for several major events every year as well as the ministry I am leading.  When I try to do it all I burn myself out and become ineffective.  I am finding the more I pass off to others the more effective I am becoming in ministry.  There are still those voices in my head though, telling me, “don’t ask them,” or “you can do it yourself.”  So here are the reasons I can think of, not to delegate.

Reasons NOT TO Delegate:

  1. It is faster to do it myself.  Yes, it takes time to teach someone how I want it done.  I don’t have the time to find someone and then train them to do it.  Really, I am just creating more work for myself.
  2. I am very particular and I want things done my way.  If I hand it over to someone else it won’t come back the way I pictured it.  So instead of taking the chance I will just find the time to do it myself.
  3. I don’t want to be a burden on other people.  Think about it, if I don’t want to do it then why would they want to do it.  I don’t want to be “that guy” who no one wants to talk to because there is always something he wants you to do.
  4. I am getting paid to do this.  This one is probably the most difficult one for me to get past.  It is my job and I receive the paycheck, how can I ask someone else to do it.

There they are, these are the reasons, cancel that, excuses I will typically use to avoid the delegation game.  Here is the problem with just doing it yourself.  Over time you end up “just finding time to do it” at the expense of your family, your health and your spiritual health.  I am finding there are significant counters to all of the excuses I come up with.

Reasons YOU MUST delegate

  1. Yes, initially it is faster to do it yourself but not in the long run.  Once you have trained someone who is passionate about the task, you have the ability to turn it loose.  This opens up more time for you.  In the past I have always ask for a volunteer and then trained them. At Catalyst this year Andy Stanley changed my thinking on delegation.  Andy talked about the importance of choosing someone and doing it with them for a short time and then turning them lose.
  2. Just because things are not done the way you would have liked them does not mean it’s not done well or that it is done wrong.  It is just different and that is okay.  Maybe your idea was not the best.  Maybe there is a better way to do it.  When working with students I can clearly do a better job at some tasks, but as they do it more and more they will get better.  It is the only way for them to learn.
  3. Our job in ministry is not to simply get things done but rather to equip people for ministry.  However, when we do it our self we are robbing someone else of the opportunity to use their talents and abilities to serve in an area God has gifted them.  This is Youth Ministry at its core.  When we began our student ministries several years back I turned a lot of things over to students and I no longer do them.  Most importantly, I gave up all song leading in our ministry, and the world is a better place because of it.  But so are the students who are leading worship now because of the decision.
  4. I am not getting paid to do “stuff” and I am getting paid to minister to people.  Part of ministering to people comes through training and equipping them for ministry.  Delegating allows me to focus on my strengths and allows others to use theirs.

So the obvious question would be “what are the things I need to be delegating?”  However, I think we need to begin with a different question.  Let’s start here, “what am I really good at and what do I really enjoy doing?”  When I find these, they are the things I need to keep doing because these are the reasons I really enjoy ministry.  These are the things which energize me.  I need to keep doing these things.   Everything else, someone else can do and would probably enjoy doing.  So here is my goal over the next 6 months, delegate and get rid of everything I can.


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