It is amazing how much trouble a simple, two-letter word can be for pastors. The pastor’s heart wants to connect with people; we care deeply for others and feel personally responsible for them. Unfortunately, some of us also deal with the fear of man and feel pressure to serve. A combination of these factors can make it difficult for many pastors to say, “No.” But if we don’t learn to say, “No,” we will bind our hands and then wonder why our efforts are falling short. We need to be intentional about our availability because, like finances, we have only so much of it. The answer to this conundrum is multiplication and delegation. Let me explain what I mean.
Multiply Yourself in Others
What is your primary goal? Is it to care for your congregation? Is it to share Jesus with your city? To have the greatest impact in your community, your primary goal needs to be raising up other leaders. Why? Because this will give you enough leaders to serve the congregation and city at a powerful level.
As your congregation grows, you won’t have enough time or energy to pour into the individual members—unless you learn how to multiply yourself in a second “tier” of leaders.
John Wimber found that any time he employed a 1-4 leader-to- disciple ratio, it automatically generated another four members almost by accident. In a healthy church, every committed leader with a job description—that is, a leader who has a real position, title and duties—creates a natural draw for four more people.
Therefore, as you grow the committed leaders in your church, your congregation will naturally grow as well.
A Closer Look at Delegation
One large misunderstanding in the Church is the difference between leaders and workers. Many pastors will give responsibilities to people…but only as workers. A worker is someone who serves in the presence of his or her leader, but a true leader is one who serves in the absence of his or her leader. In other words, if my delegation is limited to workers who do not directly pastor others, I am not truly delegating. I am just assigning jobs to people. A pastor needs to build a culture of trust and honor that can support the delegation of leaders who have true responsibility in the ministries where they serve.
Keep in mind that true delegation is not merely saying, “Yes,” to leaders who lead in your absence, but it is also the ability to say, “No,” to those who continue to demand your attention. Delegation has not occurred until the primary leader can step away from saying, “Yes,” to an average member and instead refer that member to the leader of his or her home group or ministry team.
For more information about raising up leaders, click here.