In a 200church, we have to constantly fight against our instinct to do everything ourselves. We know that people are busy, we think we can do it better, and we assume that we’re better off doing something ourselves than taking the time to train someone else. On top of that, we want to avoid looking like we’re trying to “get out of work” if we delegate tasks we could easily handle ourselves.
In large churches, it is impossible for a pastor to do everything himself, but often in 200churches we can accomplish many if not all tasks solo. Despite the fact that we can do the work, let me encourage you to resist the temptation to do it all. While it might be nice to see things done “right” or to save the time and energy it takes to train a volunteer, there are downsides to trying to do all the work on our own:
1. Your church will be limited by your finite energy level. Even if you’re young and energetic, you’ll eventually tire and wear out. It’s only a matter of time. Too many twenty-something pastors have ended up burned out in their “successful ministry”.
2. Your church will be limited by your gift set. You may be the most gifted person in your church or ministry, but you still don’t have all the gifts. If you don’t delegate to others, the things you are not gifted in or able to do will go undone.
3. Your church will be limited by your time constraints. Even Superman only has 24 hours in a day. The day you delegate is the day you get more than 24 hours – as you allow others to contribute their hours to the cause of Jesus and the vision of your/their church!
The purpose of 200churches is not to pressure you to GROW your church. We think that the Holy Spirit will take care of that. We think that if you are healthy and vibrant in your relationship with Christ, and have committed yourself to life-long learning and servant leadership, Jesus will take care of building his church. One of the ways he will do that is through his Body – you AND your people.
Here are the first steps to delegating/equipping your people to serve alongside you, and not just watch you serve.
1. Get to know the disciples in your church. They are disciples, aren’t they? How are they wired? What do they love to do? What are they good at? What do others pay them to do? What is their personality and background? Get to know them by spending time with them in church and out of church, at their house, the mall, a great restaurant, or the golf course.
2. Ask people what they would like to do. Chances are they are highly gifted and/or skilled in an area where you are not. They are just waiting for someone to ask them to help. Most people don’t get involved because they are not asked – make the ask!
3. Train people to do the work. My dad taught me how to change oil when I was a kid. First, I watched him do it. The next time, we did it together. The third time, he watched me do it, and eventually he just started sending me out to the garage to do it! As leaders of 200churches, we follow these same steps to train our volunteers. When we invest in people through training, they grow personally and we’re free to focus elsewhere.
4. Finally, we must teach them passages like Ephesians 4, Romans 12, and 1 Corinthians 12. Delegation is allowing them to serve like Jesus, gifted by his Spirit, for the glory of the Father and benefit of the Body of Christ.
Even when it seems harder, we have to resist the temptation to do everything ourselves. The short-term investment of time and energy will pay dividends when our people are actively serving and we’re free to focus on other tasks.
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