One of my goals in ministry is to develop people well enough that if I got hit by a truck tomorrow that things could continue on without me. Ministries that fully depend on my presence will never grow bigger than my own skill set and availability. Empowering and equipping others to take on pieces of ministry and sending them to go and do it is essential to effective ministry. It is not expedient on the front end but it is necessary for ministry to be done by community and not done in isolation. That means ministry shifts from being done to people to being done with people and by people. Maybe the next stage of your ministry is development rather than dependence.
A few ideas to start handing things off to others:
- Don’t hand off too much too fast but make sure the goal is to hand off as much as possible. Change takes time. Giving people more than they are ready to take on or are available to deliver on will just make them feel guilty and unsuccessful.
- Know your people and know what they can handle…then give them just a little bit more than what you think they can handle.
- Know when to back off and when to push forward with people.
- Be in tune with the concept of availability. People are only going to give what resources they have and are willing to give. Some people have resources but aren’t willing to give them. That is an availability issue, not a talent/skill issue.
- Some day you will transition into something else. Do you want to leave the next guy with a ministry that is limping along, dependent and immature? Or do you want the next guy to find a stable, healthy, and growing ministry that has direction, vision and momentum from within?
- Identify which things you have to do and which things can be handed off.
- Give away the parts you can with adequate description and expectations without micromanaging too much. Again, know your people. Some people may start off needing a little more direction than others.
- You will find that the more you involve others in ministry, the more the ministry will grow. People are more likely to invite friends and talk about their own ministry than ministry that someone else is doing to them or for them.
- Know your skill set and surround yourself with people who have what you don’t. Maybe you aren’t the most magnetic person in the world, know who is and use them. Maybe you have magnetism but you aren’t the best teacher…identify those who can teach and get out of their way.
- What is your number 10?