One of the difficulties that many leaders run into is a lack of leaders. You rarely hear a church say, “We have too many leaders.” While it is true that there often is a shortage of volunters in a church, I wonder if the leaders help to make the problem happen.
In most churches, there is a capable team of leaders at the top, but they all have the same problem. They know how they got raised up into leadership, they just don’t know how to raise other people up.
This happens for a variety of reasons:
What if someone can’t do something as well as I can. There is a strong possibility that at first, it will not have the same quality. There is also a strong possibility that it might be better. I’ve had several mentors tell me, “If someone can do something 70 – 80% as well as you, let them do it.” When I no longer do something I am not gifted to do, not only do I allow someone else to use their gifts, but it allows me to do things that I can’t give away, things I don’t want to give away, things that fire me up to do.
It is easier if I just do it. This goes with the first one. At first it will be easier if you do it, but then you cut down the amount of people who can be involved, but you also keep yourself from getting better at other things and spending time on those things.
Do I trust this person enough to hand this off. This is a personal fear that you will have to get past. Start small, don’t hand a new leader an entire team unless you think they can handle it. Put them on the team, then give them more responsibility as they prove themselves.
I will have to keep this person accountable if I hand this off. This is a lazy leadership excuse.
There are some loose ends I have to tie up before I can train someone. When in life, ministry, work or leadership are all the loose ends tied up. This is just an excuse.
What if they don’t want to do it. Let them say no then. This also comes from a leader who has not cast a vision that is compelling. When someone knows that what they do is important, that it adds value, they will put up chairs, pick up trash, anything to be a part of the vision that is going somewhere and helping people.
They are too busy. If they are too busy, let them tell you, don’t just assume they are too busy or don’t want to do it. If they don’t want to do it, let them say no, but by not asking them, by not giving them the opportunity to say no, you are also not giving them the opportunity to say yes.
All of these are often true, but they are also deceptive lies.
Think about your life as a leader, at some point someone tapped you on the shoulder and raised you up as a leader. You are leading because someone gave you responsibility and let you use your gifts. As a leader, we get to do this, we don’t have to, we get to.