When we recognize signs that we need to delegate, it’s time to move forward and actually do it. Here are some things I have learned about delegating:
- Although it may seem like finding the right person to take on part of the task will take more time than doing it myself, that thinking is wrong, at least long-term.
- There is a cost to doing it all myself that can’t be measured by time spent recruiting help.
- Fear of others failing is debilitating to what I want to accomplish. I have to let them fail to a certain extent but have a safety net available before the bottom falls out.
- The first time someone takes on a task is a teaching time. If she is a fit and learns well, my time investment will be smaller when she serves again. I am not providing fish for her but teaching her to catch for herself. Once she gets it, we accomplish more together than if I do it alone.
- Be on constant alert for candidates for positions and roles before there is an opening. This not only helps better distribute the weight, it also enables me to prepare for the future of the work I value. It has been proven true that I will not always be there to do it, and I should be about training those who follow me.
- People who fit best aren’t always looking for a spot to serve because they are often already busy. Don’t wait for them to volunteer; recruit them anyway. At least a seed is planted for the future, but it may be that her busyness isn’t about God’s kingdom and lacks the kind of meaning found in ministry. She may be ready to give something else up.
- Delegating tasks must include the authority to make most of the decisions. If I always tell others exactly how to do things, I de-value them and their gifts. As #4 explains, more authority shifts after she has done it once.
- Structure what is delegated—job descriptions usually work best—so that everyone knows exactly what is expected of not only their jobs but also what those around them can provide to the goal.
- Follow Jesus’s example and delegate even when I may be able to do it better (Luke 9:1-6; 10:1-12; Matt. 28:18-20: Acts 1:8).
And finally, the most important truth to remember:
10. Failing to delegate is at its heart a lack of trust in God. It reveals that I trust myself and my abilities more than I trust him to provide the right women and get his kingdom work accomplished.
May we trust God enough to delegate!