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Q: Is there something you missed that is preventing your small group ministry from growing?
We have a vision for our small group ministry to grow. We evaluate our programs and processes, We track metrics. We examine the health of our small groups. But if we aren’t careful, we can overlook a critical area that will stunt our ministry growth. That area is our own ability and capacity to accomplish the mission.
None of us were created and graced with all of the knowledge, skills, experiences, and gifts required to carry out our ministry with excellence. The Bible is clear that we are one part of a larger body where all the parts need to work together (1 Corinthians 12:12-27). God expects us to depend on one another and on Him.
Sharing our ministry with others can be difficult. Why? We might not think others can do the job as well as we can. Maybe we’re so overwhelmed that we don’t want to take the time to train someone. Or maybe we resist the possibility of someone changing the way we have always done things.
Leadership isn’t easy. Growth isn’t either. They require us to embrace change and get uncomfortable.
If we don’t delegate, we can’t lead.
Dangers of Not Delegating
Delegating can seem like it’s more trouble than it’s worth. But there are consequences if we don’t share our ministry with others. Here are a few:
- It limits growth in our ministry, ourselves, and others
- Our ministry will fall short of excellence
- We risk being overwhelmed and burned out
- It eliminates opportunities for others to serve
How to Delegate
1. List all of your projects and tasks
Don’t start by identifying areas you feel can be delegated. First, make a list of everything you do. Review the list and eliminate any projects and tasks that are not worthwhile.
2. Determine which ones must be done by you
Identify those items on the list that must be done by you. Setting the vision for your ministry may be one of those items. The list of items that have to be accomplished by you is probably a short list. All the rest of the items are potential projects and tasks to delegate.
3. Prioritize the projects and tasks to delegate
Delegating takes time and energy up front so you need a strategy. Prioritizing the list will help determine what items to start delegating first.
I recommend you prioritize your list in this order:
- Items you already delegated (congratulations!)
- Items you aren’t good at
- Items that take you a significant amount of time to do
- Items you don’t enjoy doing
- The rest of the items
4. Identify people and assign items
Ask God to reveal people who can be responsible for the items on your list. See people as God sees them… look for potential, not perfection.
Recruit people for the work. Be sure to discuss your vision and not just the task.
Ensure they understand the role and responsibilities they are taking on. Clearly communicate your expectations.
5. Support those you delegate to
“The most important part of leadership is a servant’s heart.”
Steve Gladen in Planning Small Groups with Purpose
Make sure you set up your team members to succeed, not fail. Provide the authority, training, and tools they need. Look for things they do well, no matter how small, and praise them for it. Be an encouragement. Periodically check on their progress and provide constructive feedback. Do not micromanage!
Benefits of Delegating
As you delegate, you will start to reap some of these benefits:
- Reduced stress
- Increased skills for you and your team
- More time for important work
- Increased trust with team
- Higher productivity and quality
- Ministry growth
What is the next project or task you will delegate to allow a surge in your ministry growth?