If you are a perfectionist like me, it is really hard to share responsibility with others.
That was my problem years ago when I first started out in children’s ministry. I was at a small church.
I guess I was a little bit OCD.
When it came to setting up the chairs for children’s church, I loved the square titles on the floor.
They were perfect for lining up the chairs in a nice, clean, straight row. It was great until the kids showed up and got them out of alignment.
I was the worst!
I just wanted everything to be perfect when everyone showed up.
This leadership style became a distraction for me from what the Lord had called me to do as a pastor.
After three and half years of this, I still could not let things go.
No one could set up the chairs right.
No one could make copies right.
Or lead worship right.
Or teach the Bible study or follow up with parents…right.
The reality of this leadership style struck me hard when the Lord called me to another church.
About three months after I left the previous church, the ministry fell apart.
Jim Wideman says, “If you leave your ministry today and it falls apart, you were a lousy minister. You did not do what God called you to do.” Paul tells us that our role is to equip the saints for the works of ministry (Ephesians 4:11-13).
When I left there three years ago, the ministry went on as if I were still there.
I remember my supervisor (the Executive Pastor) came to me one day and said, “The leadership of the church is concerned that you aren’t doing your job.”
He said that they saw everyone else taking on my responsibilities while I was walking around visiting with parents and leaders.
One day, I sat down and wrote a detailed report of what the children’s ministry was doing.
It blessed my heart because it was being done by others.
When the leadership saw my report, they never asked me that question again.
The children’s ministry was making a huge impact, both in the church and in the community…because I released people to serve using their gifts.
Here are a few suggestions to help free up your time so that you can focus on the things you love to do in the church:
- Write down everything you are doing that someone else could do just as well and find people to do them.
- Give job descriptions.
- When they are faithful in small things, give them some bigger things to do.
- Don’t give away things you are specifically responsible for in your ministry, such as your vision, discipline issues, etc.
- Meet with your key leaders regularly to make sure everyone is heading in the right direction.
- Don’t give away the things you love to do. These are the things that bring you joy.