Everyday Pastors like you play multiple roles.
You are the
- maintenance engineer,
- the real-estate agent,
- administrator, etc.
Unless you spend your time doing the right things, you’ll be very busy making very little progress. Your left wondering how to get more done!
Like a hamster on the wheel, you run in circles and end up burned out. The ultimate pressure raising source of frustration is doing ALL this work and seeing your church loose members.
“God what in the world is going on?”
What if I told you there was a way to get more done in the day with less effort?
What if you did not have to be the one to get it all done?
What if you were able to focus on the important, while others could handle the urgent?
My Transition Story
About 5 years ago I had my, “God what in the world is going on” moment. I had started overseeing our small group system. I had no clue what I was doing. I didn’t have a coaching system or an online registration system.
We did a push on the weekends and collected over 500 cards.
Now the real work began…I had to put 500 people in groups. That was 500 phone calls… to then find out they did not want to be in the home they were placed. There were over 50 leaders who were all calling me…every issue came to my desk. And I had to make copies of all the curriculum.
In the middle of all this, I never had time:
- to coach group leaders,
- to pray for their needs or
- to support them.
Did I mention my blood pressure went up? I was always stressed out and I started to hate small groups.
It was this season that forced me to learn a valuable lesson. A lesson that:
- saved me time,
- helped me focus on the important and
- probably saved me from a heart attack or burnout.
Delegate Is A Must
If you want to do more with less, you MUST delegate.
Delegation simply means to give someone under you the responsibility of taking care of a task. Delegation is a key tool for pastors.
For some reasons we don’t delegate; we find it difficult to delegate. And if we do delegate, it’s usually not effective.
3 Attitudes That Keep Us From Delegating
Beneath our humble talk, lurks a God complex.
We think we are omnipotent and try to be everywhere at once, or omniscient and think we know everything.
We are control freaks.
#2 No Time
We don’t think we have the time – not enough time to teach others.
It’s easier to just do it ourselves.
So we find ourselves doing stuff that doesn’t matter. Some tasks are purposeless.
Jeff Sutherland, the author of Scrum, says
“Jobs without purpose are detrimental to our business (churches) and leave us soulless.”
#3 Confidence Lacks
We are afraid that someone else can do it better than us.
We think, as pastors we, are supposed to know everything and do everything.
If we don’t make room for other peoples’ gifts, they will always feel like they don’t add value.
These are the underlying issues to delegating. It’s not the competency of others; it’s our inability to recognize our limitations and to realize our weaknesses give room for someone else’ strengths.
Delegating to others is not only helpful, it’s crucial to the success of your church.
4 Keys To Delegate Effectively
#1 Pick the Right People
According to Martin Zwilling contributor for Forbes magazine
“Choosing the best people on your team for the job is the key to effective delegating.”
This is key to the success of your project. Pick the best people and have them help you. Pick people whose judgment you trust. Pick people who are going to get the job done right.
How do you know if they are the right people?
Give them a small task and see if they go above and beyond what you asked.
- If they only do what you asked them to do, then they are doers.
- If they do more and deliver beyond your expectations, they are leaders.
Find out if they care about the organization. People who love your church will go above and beyond for your church.
#2 Manage By Remote Control
This term is pioneered by Marcus Buckingham in his first book First Break all the Rules.
What does it mean?
Let people know
- what the end game is,
- what is the goal,
- what is the end result you are looking for?
Then step back and allow people to find their own way.
I had to apply this with my Senior Designer when I was overseeing marketing at Christ Tabernacle. We were so different. I laid out a list of requirements (font had to be legible, date and time had to show up, needed to use church colors). Then I got out of his way. He would deliver something super amazing every time.
# 3 Delegate Authority
Don’t just delegate tasks, delegate authority.
Donna M Genett, in her book, If You Want It Done Right, You Don’t Have to Do It Yourself!: The Power of Effective Delegation”, identifies 3 levels of authority.
The first is zero authority. In this role, the person only does what is told. Any issues need to be brought back to the pastor.
The second is the authority to recommend. In this level, a person is able to see an issue and recommend the solution.
The third is Full Authority. The project manager has the ability to take full action without consulting the Pastor.
#4 Delegation Versus Abdication
There is a difference between delegation and abdication.
When we abdicate, we give a task over to someone and completely forget about it. The person is in a sink-or-swim predicament.
When we delegate, it frees us to become a coach and head cheerleader.
- gives insight and tips,
- shows how to accomplish things,
- helps to overcome issues,
- shares experiences and insight.
Ultimately, we make the other person better.
A cheer leader roots for the other person.
I love how Ken Blanchard puts it,
“Catch them doing something right and then praise them for it.”
When was the last time you cheered someone on?
Make it a habit to give specific praise.
- Not just – “You did a good job”,
- But – “You did a good job when you accomplished goals A and B, and somehow saw that issue coming down the pipe”.
#5 Check-in Frequently
The biggest mistake we make is waiting until the end to see if something works. You have to check-in frequently and see how the project is going. I suggest once a week, that way adjustments can be made in time.
Delegation is challenging for most pastors.
The number one thing it does is help us to overcome the urgent and not loose sight of the important.
It gives us more hands and multiplies our efforts. But it allows us to do it without loosing our heads or having a heart attack.
If you want to grow your church, you need to stop doing everything. Do only what you can do. Delegate everything else or die… (ok maybe that’s a big over dramatic ending)