By Ken Blue
An employee said to his boss, “I’m doing the work of ten men, I want a raise.” His boss responded, “Tell me who the other ten are, and I’ll fire them.” Sometime the pastor feels like he is the only one doing the work in the church and in some cases that is true.
I’ve seen pastors who are busy doing everything at the church. There are several reasons for this. One is, they believe they are getting paid to do them. Another is, they like doing those things. Many pastors think none of the members are willing or are capable of doing church work.
I know many pastors who open every letter, turn the lights and heat on and off, and they unlock and lock the buildings at every service. Some mow the laws, vacuum the carpets, straighten up the auditorium, lead the singing, print the bulletin, make the announcements, take the offering, preach the sermon, and then wonder why they are about to have a nervous breakdown.
The key to solving this problem is to acknowledge that a problem existence and then fix it. Sad to say, some pastors don’t know how to fix it. I was one of those pastors for a few years. Just before I burnt out, I discovered the secret.
None of us are too important to do the list of things above, but the sooner the pastor realizes that none of them are his job, the easier it will be for him to get about the main task God called him to do.
The pastor should write down every task he is doing. Then he should mark things that could be done by someone else. Pray and ask God to show you those within the church to whom the task could given. If someone can do the task half as well as you, give it to them. With training and your help, they will get better. Give away everything you can to faithful men and women. You cannot give away your responsibility for the overall ministry of the church, but you must give responsibility with each task. Let each person know exactly what is expected and then meet often, if necessary, to see that it is done.
Delegation and abdication are two completely different things. You delegate in order to train others to serve Christ; and so you will be able to do more ministry leadership. Those who abdicate, abandon ministries and the workers in order to do less. They are selfish and lazy, and their sin will find them out.
Pastor, your church and your people will never grow spirituality if you don’t learn the fine art of delegation. Many who are excellent preachers and Bible teachers are not doing a good job as pastors. “And he gave …pastors and teachers; 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:” Ephesians 4:11-12. Your job is to perfect the believers for the work of the ministry. This takes far more than knowledge of the Bible. There are dozens of ways to teach men and women how to do the ministry. So, start now by giving jobs to every person you can.
(If this article was helpful, you should read the author’s book, How To Assist Your Pastor).
Pastor Ken Blue was born in Boswell, Ark. In 1955 he accepted Christ as his Savior. He and his wife Joyce were married in 1955. They have 5 children. He graduated from Midwestern Baptist Bible College in 1969 and started the Open Door Baptist Church in Lynnwood, Wa. where he pastored for 39 years. Because of health issues (ALS) he was forced to resign as pastor. It is his desire to continue to be used of God to help pastors and believers through this ministry.
How To Assist Your Pastor is a great book. Thanks, Pastor Blue! I need this reminder most often.