Delegation by Jethro

I’ve had a lot of discussions with our staff about the importance of delegation.  Delegating to volunteers has always been a big part of our culture at Cross Point but lately it seems that this principle is more important than ever.

In the context of the church environment delegation is really about inviting people into ministry, allowing others to be a part of the work that God is doing.  It would be impossible for Cross Point to reach our community the way that we should be without inviting volunteers to be a part.

One of my favorite passages of scripture that relates to delegation is Exodus 18:17-23.  In this passage Jethro is busting Moses’ for trying to do it all himself.

V 17-18: So Moses’ father-in-law said to him.  “The thing that you do is not good. Both you and these people who are with you will surely wear yourselves out. For this things is too much for you: you are not able to perform it by yourself.”

Ok, stop right there.  Did you hear that?  Does someone need to say this to you?  Are you wearing yourself out because you are trying to do it all yourself?

Jethro goes on to instruct Moses on how to delegate:

V 21: “Moreover you shall select from all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them to be rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of of fifties, and rulers of tens.”

See the leadership structure that Jethro is creating for Moses here?

V 22: “So it will be easier for you, for they will bear the burden with you.”

Don’t you need someone to bear the burden with you?  Who are you inviting into ministry with you?  Who do you need to teach, train and empower?

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  • jan owen August 5, 2008  

    I have delegated alot because I have no staff, or admin help, etc. It was painful to begin with to relinquish control. I love to lead worship. It was hard to ask someone else to do it. But it’s been the best step I’ve ever taken. But I need to train more. And all of this takes time. It takes time to train and equip others to do it “right” and to pour into their lives, yet you are right, it invites them to participate with God Himself in using their gifts and lives in ministry. And honestly, it’s healthier for a church and for a leader. I cannot emphasize this enough…..ask me how I know. 🙂

    One of my goals this year is to have someone else lead worship every 5-6 weeks, then move on from there.

    One of the very practical things I tell leaders is that you cannot take a true break unless you have reproduced yourself. One day that will be important to you!

  • ash August 5, 2008  

    This is an area in which I have lots of room for improvement! The concept is not lost one me…I get it. It’s good. I just have trouble actually doing it.

    I always worry that by asking people for help, I’ll be inconveniencing them. So this a great reminder that extending that invitation really is offering people a chance to use their God-given gifts in ministry! What a privilege to have that to offer to others! Now, I’ve just got to DO it!

  • jdellis August 5, 2008  

    I’m always trying to improve in this area. Delegation goes against my some of my natural tendencies.

  • Marla Saunders August 5, 2008  

    I’ve been “delegating” in a new way lately. Seems like God has been asking me to take “walking wounded” who are receiving help and ministry, and having them turn around to minister to others. I’m amazed at the power this has had. For instance, a young woman who is receiving financial help to battle infertility and is a housecleaner by trade has been helping me clean the totally trashed home of a mom of four whose husband left her and filed for permanent custody. I’m also being helped in this by a young woman who finds herself jobless and caught in a selfish web of her own making. And each of these helpers is surrounded during the project by mature women (not necessarily in age you understand!!!) who have been through the rough waters of life and walked out the other side.

    Hurting people helping hurting people, and yet somehow God’s healing shows up. Crazy.

  • Jason Miley August 5, 2008  

    Thank you for posting that. Those are great thoughts. The disease that you mentioned in an earlier post, “I have the plague”, is one that I battle. I am a perfectionist…with my subjective standard of course. The biggest area of growth for me over the years…and still more growing to do…is in the area of delegation. My mind tells me that nobody will do it as good as me. The reality is that it is not biblical, it does not build up God’s church, and it simply does not work to operate with that mindset. I think that is some of what Jesus did with the twelve Disciples. I think that is what he meant when he told his disciples that they “will do even greater things than these…”. From Old Testament examples to New Testament, I need to delegate.