It is sad and unfortunate that many church buildings were closed down, all services suspended, no small groups meetings nor delegation, and ministers took a complete holiday during the ongoing pandemic! Simply because many of us don’t believe in delegation.
All we did before is pulpit ministry and nothing on members discipleship training and using them as extension arm of the ministry.
The churches that thrive and didn’t allow the closure of official church buildings to debar them from serving their people and communities are those that learn to delegate and lean on gifted members to help and minister to their people.
I hope we’ll continue to delegate post-COVID, but I’m not sure we will.
Here’s why we pastors struggle with delegation:
1 We base our worth on results. When we base our value on the success of the organization we lead, seldom do we delegate responsibility to others. It’s simply too risky to do so.
2 We ignore the Body of Christ imagery in 1 Corinthians 12. We deny this imagery when we choose to play the role of every part of the Body – either by doing it all ourselves or by “cleaning up” what others have done.
3 We’ve never seen good delegation modeled. In many cases, our own role models did all the work themselves, and we’ve followed faithfully in their steps, thereby running a ‘spectator- spot church’
4 We suffer from “idolatry of the self.” What else can we call it if we believe (a) no one can do it better than we can, and thus (b) no one else should do it?
5 We don’t have time or energy to train others. Training is time-consuming and messy. It’s just easier to do it all ourselves and cloak our efforts under “the urgency of the gospel.”
6 We like control. Let’s face it: with every person we train and release, we move one step away from controlling everything under our watch.
7 We’ve had bad experiences with delegation. Our past stories are defeating. We spent so much time cleaning up messes that it’s just easier to avoid the mess in the first place.
8 We have no system in place to help believers determine their giftedness. How can we delegate to people whose spiritual giftedness and passions we don’t know? And that they themselves don’t even know because we offer no such training?
9 Our churches don’t always see the need. “After all,” they say, “that’s why we hire staff.”
10 We fear others will do better (and perhaps get the glory). No one wants to admit this possibility, but some of us wrestle with this thinking.
11 We don’t see the vast needs of the world. It’s easy to hold on to everything when the full scope of our ministry is only our church and perhaps our community. Multiply those needs by the 4 billion people in the world who have little exposure to the gospel, however, and the need to delegate becomes obvious.
12 We don’t pray enough for laborers. If we truly prayed like Jesus taught us in Luke 10:1-2—asking for more laborers—we would need to be prepared and willing to share the workload with others.
I sincerely hope that we learn enough lessons from the pandemic to know that the church that will thrive after the pandemic are the ones that learn to delegate to qualified and well trained disciples. Leaders that built everything around themselves only will suffer massive losses. Church leaders that only knows and abide with temple ministry and ministrations only, and fail to recognize the need for small groups being led by well trained and faithful members will suffer great losses in membership and whatever. It’s time to trust your members, discover their gifts,disciple them and release them to share the load of the work.
If there is any lesson we should learn from the pandemic, it is that large buildings, gatherings, and crowds may not really be relevant again in the near future!