Most leaders don’t realize their potential because they don’t realize the potential in people all around them. Pastors can be especially prone to this as they unintentionally limit the scope of their ministries as they are slow to grant influence/authority to others. However, with equal parts humility and trust, you can both expand the reach and the influence of your team without sacrificing unity.
Here are 6 Steps to Delegating Well…
1) Choose wisely. The most talented may not be the best choice. By all means, find someone who can do the job well. However, be sure they are someone who, more than simply “good at it,” is all-in with your vision, passionate about what they will be doing, and who is a teachable team player.
Consider Jesus’ choice in disciples. See Acts 4:13.
2) Explain simply. Write it down and spell it out. It may be as simple as a checklist or one page job description. Less is more. Be specific about the goal, the requirements (day, time, length of term or task), their team members and who they report to. In other words, delegate outcomes, not just tasks. Show them an example or paint a clear picture of the finished project or “win” when it comes to what they have been asked to do.
Consider the disciples job description. See Matthew 28:16-20.
3) Involve actively. Don’t just throw them into it. Introduce them personally to their team. Then, whether it’s with you or another team leader, have them “shadow” someone in the role or task first. Involve them as much as possible with hands-on experience. Discuss and tackle the challenges along the way while they are actually facing them with you or another leader. Do this until they are confident in their role or task and, frankly, you are only in the way.
Consider Jesus’ model of mentoring… a three year apprenticeship.
4) Launch willingly. Now, turn them lose and let them lead! Besides, they will probably do it better than you. Empower them to make the calls necessary, give them the resources needed to succeed, grant them license for creativity and clear out plenty of room to fail without fear. Don’t hover. Let them know you are just a text or call away if they have a question or need any help.
Consider Jesus’ ascension… See Luke 24:50-53
5) Cheer wildly. Encourage them as they grow in their new role and accomplish the tasks they have been assigned. Celebrate the little things as well as the big wins. Make a big deal out of the way they are getting it done as a team as well as making note of individual contributions.
Consider God’s cheering section. See Hebrews 10:25; 12:1-3
6) Follow-up responsibly. “How’s it going?” or “Let’s take a look together…” may work fine for small projects, especially if there was a simple checklist to begin with. Larger roles may work better with a simple evaluation tool. If it’s a new role, seize the opportunity to involve the new leader in the creation of the evaluation itself. Again, less is more. It is too easy to create a micro-mananged culture. If this develops, your better leaders won’t likely bring disunity… they’ll just leave and find another team where the level of accountability is exceeded only by the level of trust.
Consider Paul’s example with Timothy. See 1 Timothy 1:1-8.
Delegation. We see this leadership essential practiced throughout the Bible as the Spirit of God prompts leaders to harness the power of delegation. See Exodus 18 and Acts 6 for two biblical examples of the power and influence created by empowering others!
What roles are you or another leader presently assuming that could be given to others? What tasks might others not only accomplish, but probably do even better than you? Expand your reach and grow the influence of your ministry or organization by delegating well.
PEAK Pastors Series – Team Building