Ten Steps Toward Delegating…One Task at a Time

I’ve written previously about why some of us struggle with delegating. At the same time, though, I know that good leadership—and more importantly, biblical discipleship—requires investing in others and granting them responsibilities. Here’s a simple process to get started in that direction:  

  1. Think theologically. God puts the Body of Christ together as He wishes (1 Cor. 12), with “hands” and “feet,” etc., in their right place. When we do everything ourselves, we hinder this body from being the body.  

  1. Think practically. Delegating means more work at first while we’re equipping others to do the work. In the long run, though, delegation saves us time and energy.  

  1. Capture and cast vision. See, and help others see, the picture of a church filled with faithful workers. See multiple generations of laborers serving together. Trust that that vision is fulfilled one person at a time.  

  1. Repent. Our unwillingness to let go of things is not a sign of our good leadership; it’s ultimately a sign of our ego. It says, “Nobody can do this as well as I can”—and we must confess that tendency.  

  1. Pray. Jesus told us to pray for more laborers (Luke 10:1-2). That’s a critical step in delegating: pray for God to raise up the next leaders.   

  1. Watch. Keep your eyes open for church members who show faithfulness and fruitfulness. They might be the next laborers to train.   

  1. Train one. Delegating all tasks to untrained people can be dangerous. Instead, begin delegating by training one person to do one thing. Start somewhere.  

  1. Let that one thing go. Go ahead—let the person you trained take on one of your tasks. Trust your training. 

  1. Be patient. It’s possible that others won’t do things as well as you’d like . . . at first. Give them time, though, to grow with experience. They might do better than you ever did. 

  1. Thank God. Thank Him for giving you the wisdom to delegate. Thank Him for members who are willing to take on responsibilities. Thank Him for the church.  

Which of these steps would be most helpful to you?   

7 Comments

  • JR Beaver says:

    Thank you CL for this very timely blog post. Number 6 would be the most helpful for me. . . the watching for those who show faithfulness and fruitfulness. However, what about those who will continue to be in positions of leadership and refuse to delegate? What actions should be taken when God does provide faithful workers but leadership refuses to let them serve.

  • JR Beaver says:

    CL- I am speaking of both.

    • Chuck Lawless says:

      J.R., this issue is often a “front door” issue with laypersons–that is, we enlist them for service without discussing the need to raise up new leaders and delegate some tasks to them; thus, we can deal somewhat with this issue by better recruiting. For laypersons already in place, we need to teach clearly (perhaps in a strong sermon series) how Jesus and Paul intentionally raised up future leaders. Then, we can challenge leaders to delegate based on the Word. For pastors who don’t delegate, I’m afraid my experience tells me that many don’t make a change until burnout forces them to do so.

  • Mark says:

    As to #5, how can God raise up new leaders if you keep voting them down?

    • Jim Watson says:

      Mark, in my experience, new leaders raised up by God will be allowed to lead. The real problem is the amount of time, lost ministry, discomfort, and damage that will occur before the new leaders are allowed to lead (or leave to lead elsewhere).

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