Just the way your instrument light warns you that your car needs mechanical attention, so the symptoms of poor delegation will warn you that you need to involve others in active ministry. The warning light is not the problem. It only shows a greater problem that needs to be solved. Olen Hendrix, in his book, Management for the Christian Worker, gives several danger signals to watch for. To ignore these symptoms will hinder your growth.
By Tim Massengale
In his book, A Quest for Vitality in Religion, F. B. Edge draws a marked distinction between “the work of the Church” and “church work.” Church work is the humdrum routine of necessary, but often superficial, tasks. After all, someone must have the church van inspected, copy off the Sunday bulletin, and take Sunday’s offering deposits to the bank. Why not the pastor? Isn’t that what he’s there for?
On the other hand, “The work of the Church” is to do the tasks that Jesus would be doing if He was pastoring in your place.
“And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the Gospel . . .” Matthew 9:35
This is what you should be doing also. Did you ever go to the bank and find the president typing the interoffice bulletin for printing? It’s not that he’s too good to prepare the bulletin or feels that’s it’s beneath him. Rather, he’s simply too busy; he’s got more important things to do. His time is valuable. True, the bulletin needs to be typed, but let others do it.
Let the pastor give himself to study, to prayer, and to witnessing. Delegation is not so a pastor can sit back and do nothing; it is so he can do the things only he can do!
WHAT IS DELEGATION?
What is delegation? Many attempts have been made to define this. One, for example, says, “Delegation is giving others the right to make your decisions.” Another says, “Delegation is to give authority to accompany responsibility.” Yet a third declares, “Delegation is having other people do part of your work.” While all of these are true, as far as the church is concerned, they still fall short.
Perhaps the best definition is L.A. Allen’s: “Delegation is entrusting responsibility and authority and establishing lines of accountability.” That hits the mark dead center.
Delegation is learning how to identify the work that we are doing and devising methods of passing these pieces of work on to other people, yet still maintain a management check on these activities.