One of the struggles of worship pastors (and pastors, in general) that has been observed in churches is the pressure of taking on too much in ministry. In other words, we are not very good at delegating. We struggle with empowering others to lead in areas of ministry where we have been called. The struggle is real–and it has its roots in several issues that pastors face: 1. We carry a burden with our calling-we don’t want others to have to carry that burden too. 2. Pride-we think we can do it best because it is what we were called to do 3. Fear-we fear that others will fail us, or fail the church at large 4. Time-we often feel that it will take more time to delegate than it will for us to just do it ourselves.
I surmise that most of these reasons are built around an untruthful approach to scripture, as well as the temptations of the enemy, Satan, desiring to stall the spread of the Gospel because pastors become too “busy” doing the work of ministry. They rarely have quality time to spend doing ministry. It is scriptural to empower others to assist and even lead in our areas of ministry.
In Exodus 18, we are introduced to the “Jethro Principle,” as Moses’ father-in-law encourages him to “look for able men among the people, men who feared God” to assist in the work. In Hebrews 6:10 we are told that we are loving God when we are helping others-shouldn’t others be able to love God in the same manner? John 12:26 says that we receive honor by serving-shouldn’t others receive this same honor? 1 Peter 4:10 tells us to use our gifts to serve-shouldn’t those in your area of ministry be allowed to use their gifts to serve the body?
The truth of the matter is that even if you are the leader at the top, you will not be the most qualified in every single area of the ministry. Perhaps you are creative, but not administrative-you need to empower a leader. Maybe you are an “ideas guy,” but lack follow through and organization-you need to empower a leader. You could be gifted in structure and communication, but lack the “big picture” of the ministry-you need to empower a leader. You are an implementer, but lack the giftedness to lead some sort of new initiative in your ministry-you empower another leader to assist. The point is this-we are always better as a team; we do more as a team; it is biblical to cooperate and organize as a team: the body of Christ (not just the hand or feet, the entire body)-Romans 12:4-5.
So here are a few “tips” to empower more leaders in your ministry. They are not fail proof. They are not all-inclusive. And, you will see that with many of them–it WILL take work. However, the end result will be rewarding, honoring, and loving.
1. BUILD TRUST INTO YOUR MINISTRY
Show the other people in your ministry that you can be trusted. And vice versa, trust them. If you never let go, and empower others, you will always be stuck where you are. Sure, there are risks. There ARE going to be failures. Yet, trust will truly enable those around you to serve with you and alongside of your vision for the ministry.
2. TRAIN AND RE-TRAIN
This is the part you don’t want to hear. This is the part that will require work. Yet, this is one of the pieces most needed. You will have to train the new leaders. Proper training puts everyone on the same page and allows them to be successful. Remember: someone trained you-school/mentor/seminary…you were trained, so pass it on. Sometimes, you will have to re-train. This training leads to greater empowerment–in the long term, you will be thanking yourself, and not pulling out your hair.
3. CREATE TOOLS FOR COMMUNICATION
Whatever the tool (Twitter/mail merges/phone calls/texts/emails) find a tool that works for your team to effectively and clearly communicate. Clear communication will enable the fulfillment of expectations, designs, and implementation of vision into your ministry. Without proper communication, you will one day find yourself back on the isolated island of “busyness.”
4. LOVE AND BELIEVE IN YOUR LEADERS
This is the greatest “tip” I have for you…it is part of the greatest commandments given to us by Jesus (Matthew 22:37-40). This love is a relationship building love. Spend time with others, do life together (eat, fellowship, hang out, etc), pray together, share burdens together. This is the single greatest thing that will allow others in your circle of influence to feel empowered and know that you truly believe in them as leaders.
5. GIVE THEM AUTHORITY AND PERMISSION TO SERVE
Sometimes future leaders are hesitant to lead with confidence for fear of not knowing if they have permission. In areas where you are empowering them give them authority to plunge in feet first with all the enthusiasm that they have. Give them permission to make mistakes, and encourage them when things do not go as expected.
6. PUSH THEM OUT OF THE NEST
Some of the leaders you empower will spread their wings and soar. Others will take some coercion and reassurance that they are capable of taking the leap. Yet, still there are some that will hang around and hang around and never even flap their wings. With those, they are much like the little birds that need a shove right out of the nest. There are numerous reports of mother birds pushing their young out of the nest to enable them to know they can fly. Occasionally, you may have to shove an empowered leader out of the nest--they will soon learn that they too
What other ways do you empower your leaders?