I’m an awful delegator. It’s one of the most glaring examples of the disconnect between my personal philosophy and practice. I truly believe that God has blessed everyone with unique gifts that are intended to be used in service to others. I’m also a huge critic of the “Pied Piper” syndrome that plagues many in my profession. It is foolish to build a program around the gifts of one person (the youth minister) for two reasons.
- It implies that the youth minister’s gifts are the most special out of anyone elses
- The program can only function with the presence of the youth minister
It’s the second one that really frightens me because I know that I’m not going to be at my church forever. I have no plans to leave any time soon, but nobody is at the same church forever. My fear is that my inability to empower people to use their gifts in ministry could cause irreparable damage to the congregation when the day comes that I leave. This is not an ego thing…it’s just reality. When the work of youth ministry funnels through one person it creates an unhealthy dependence on that person.
So I’ve decided to try to change the way I function in this area. In many ways, the structure already exists. We have small group leaders in place for junior & senior high…mentors for young confirmation students…teachers and shepherds for Sunday School…parents who help serve the midweek meal. However, each of these areas are not being supported as much as they need to because I insist on taking charge of other things that, frankly, aren’t my job.
This is really difficult for me to say. My heredity has given me a fair share of Lutheran / Norsk / German guilt, as well as a stubborn inability to ask for help. I’m going to have to work to get over these tendencies. I have to remind myself that, in some ways, it actually requires MORE work on my end to educate and empower people to do tasks that “I can just do by myself”. The challenge will be applying the necessary discipline to avoid falling into the old familiar way of doing things.
The first three ways I’m hoping to employ this tactic are the Youth Auction fundraiser, Sunday School Christmas Program, and the Wednesday night meal. The Auction Team is already in the early stages of being assembled. The Christmas Program is, so far, spread around among 6 adults. The Wednesday night meal is a borderline disaster…one that will require a lot of work to make it happen.
If any of you are, like my friend Angie at Faith Lutheran, Master Delegators – please clue me (and others) in on how you share the responsibility for ministry while remaining guilt-free.
Oh shoot! It’s 12:09 am…I need to publish this sucker before Brandon Barker kicks me out of the Blogoff!