In one of my first jobs as a high school student I got to experience some bad leadership. I knew it wasn’t good, but I was far too young and ignorant to be able to describe the reasons why. In hindsight it’s easy to see. There were many reasons, actually, but ultimately what it amounted to was the leader was either there doing work or completely absent. It was usually the latter and the person in charge in his absence was never equipped to lead well. When he was there, he was doing the work more than leading and equipping others.
What about in ministry?
You could probably share a similar story about a previous boss. The sad thing is, we often replicate this in our churches. In the Bible, Paul was pretty clear about the purpose of the leaders of the church.
[symple_testimonial by=””]And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ. – Ephesians 4:11-12[/symple_testimonial]
Our job as leaders in the church is to “equip the saints for the work of ministry.” I don’t think we have a problem being absent like my boss was. We have problem with doing more than equipping.
5 Ways to Start Equipping
Our staff team has been focused on equipping volunteers more in order to free up time for our team to lead. Here are 5 simple ways we have sought to equip more and do less as leaders.
Make Your Stop / Delegate List
You may have heard of Stop Doing list, where you list all the things you should stop doing to free up more time for what’s really important. This is the expanded version. Make 3 lists and put everything you do in one of them. Things only you can do, things others could do, things you should stop doing all together.
Stop Doing Your Stop Doing List
This one’s easy, just stop.
Prepare Your Responsibilities to Delegate
Often times the reason we don’t delegate is because we need to do some work in order to hand it off, so instead we just do it. Maybe it’s documenting a process, sharing some files, or meeting with someone. Go ahead and prepare what is needed for each item on the delegate list so you can hand it off.
Now it’s time to starting recruiting people to help with the responsibilities you wish to delegate. Hopefully you listed some things you lead, where you can delegate authority over that to someone else. Talk to people you know, “market” the needs you have through various channels, and get others to help you recruit.
Invest in People
Use the time you now have to invest in people. Invest in the people you lead and the people they lead. Invest in new people who aren’t yet connected to the church through a small group or ministry team. Invest in people who aren’t leading at a higher level yet, but have the potential.