Spiritual Leadership Principle- Delegating

Spiritual Leadership Principle: To be a steward of your leadership responsibilities and see growth in what you’re leading then you must delegate.

People: The First Disciples

Passage: Acts 6: 6-7 

Before Jesus ascended into heaven He gave the disciples the great commission saying, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Soon after the disciples began to preach, perform miracles, and started to build a community (The first churches). With God’s power and the effort of the disciples the believers started to rapidly grow. In a short time over 5000 people became believers. This growth brought a challenging problem the disciples needed to solve. The problem can be found in Acts 6:

But as the believersrapidly multiplied, there were rumblings of discontent. The Greek-speaking believers complained about the Hebrew-speaking believers, saying that their widows were being discriminated against in the daily distribution of food.

So the Twelve called a meeting of all the believers. They said, “We apostles should spend our time teaching the word of God, not running a food program. And so, brothers, select seven men who are well respected and are full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will give them this responsibility. Then we apostles can spend our time in prayer and teaching the word.”

Everyone liked this idea, and they chose the following: Stephen (a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit), Philip, Procorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas of Antioch (an earlier convert to the Jewish faith). These seven were presented to the apostles, who prayed for them as they laid their hands on them.

So God’s message continued to spread. The number of believers greatly increased in Jerusalem, and many of the Jewish priests were converted, too.

Below are some insights we can gain from this passage to better help us lead and delegate:

It’s essential for Leaders to delegate

To be an effective Christian leader then you need to know and focus on your core responsibilities. This happens when you stay in the areas you have been called or assigned to be in. This is why delegating is so important. It allows you to place qualified people in roles you are not called in or should not be doing. The disciples understood they were called to preach and teach. They knew if they started to participate in other areas they would lose focus on what God called them to do.

2 reasons why a leader does not delegate

A leader might not delegate for several reasons. I have found 2 main reasons why leaders resist or don’t delegate responsibilities to other people:

1. Fear-

The leader fears that if they delegate a sub-division or ministry then it has the potential to fail or become ineffective, without them in the mix. So the leader stays overly involved in every area or a certain area outside of main responsibility’s. This causes the leader to lose focus on the main areas because they are trying to be a part of all the different divisions or ministries. It’s important to remember that no matter the size of the church or business a leader needs to delegate. To avoid the fear of delegating then make it a point to find and equip trustworthy people you can delegate responsibility to. It also requires trusting and replying on God.

2. Pride-

A prideful person has a false perspective of themselves, they think they are more highly and important than they actually are. A few things can happen when it comes to delegating and a leader having pride.

First, they think they can do everything so they start doing everything. They spread themselves out and start to become ineffective in the areas of their main responsibilities.

Second, they don’t place gifted and talented people in places of responsibility because they fear losing power and the “spot light.”

Third, the prideful leader becomes the cap to the people and organization. Instead of growth the organization sees decline or becomes stagnate.

So they avoid delegating to others.

The People Leaders Should Delegate to

When delegating it’s essential to find and then place the right people in places of responsibility. It requires matching the person’s experiences, character, and background with the area of responsibility. A leader must be careful not to give a high level of responsibility to a person who has not perversely shown or does not embody someone who can handle it.

The disciples found people who where, “respected and full of the Spirit and wisdom.” 1 Timothy 3: 2-12 lists characteristics and quality’s a person should have in order to gain any level of responsibility. These are some foundational areas to consider when choosing someone for a leadership or area of responsibility.

The Results of Delegating

When a leader finds and then delegate’s responsibility’s to others then great things start to happen. Look at the results of the disciples delegating, “So God’s message continued to spread. The number of believers greatly increased in Jerusalem, and many of the Jewish priests were converted, too.” When a leader delegates they have a greater chance of seeing growth and better results.

Question: How important do you think delegating is to a leader?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Bill (cycleguy)

    I think there may be several other reasons why a leader doesn’t delegate. One is lack of knowing how. Another is (and I guess this can come under fear) is “fear” of being seen as shirking responsibility.

    • Great additional reasons Bill. Thank you for sharing your insights.

  • Nice post. I agree that leaders should delegate and with your two most common reasons some leaders don’t do so. However, if we choose a great team, and allow our followers some freedom to make their own choices, we may be able to rely less on delegation and more on the shared vision and inspiration of the team.

    • Great point about “shared vision and inspiring the team” because of what your doing. Thank you for reading and sharing.

  • By the way, welcome back from your vacation. I hope you had a great time.

    • Thank you Dan. It’s great to be back. It was relaxing and fun.

  • It’s important but hard to do :) I can be a control freak so the idea of handing something to someone else scares me! I do know I can’t do everything, so I’m learning, great thoughts

    • Glad your learning how to better delegate even though it scares you. Keep with it bro. Thank you for reading and sharing.

  • floyd

    What ever a person is leading, if they cannot delegate, it won’t be anything significant. Although sometimes people are called to be the leaders of just themselves, impacting the world for God in small ways. Too often in our society we think something has to be huge to be effective.

    • Such a true point. Success is all about doing what we each have individually been called to do, small or big. Thank you for sharing.

  • You have hit the nail on the head, Dan.

    We won’t succeed in much or get far by ourselves. We need others – capable others. That said, I am still challenged when it comes to delegating – right down to my house! Much as i want help in all things domestic, it’s still hard to let my husband do things his way :). But i have made progress and am still learning. (if i want any kind of help, i better let the man do it his way! lol)

    Great insights

    • I relate with you. In my marriage I tend to do things really really fast( like laundry, dishes, and the list can go on) while my wife does them more slower. So I tend to do a lot more of the house hold work then she does. It requires me to be patient and know she works at a different speed then I do.

      Great statement, “We don’t succeed in much or get fat by ourselves.” So true.

      I appreciate you your thoughts and comment.

      • I see we are in the same boat..! They say opposites attract – i think just God’s way of making us more like Himself and spicing up our lives :)

        Got a good laugh at your typo – ‘fat’ instead of ‘far’. Good one!

        • Opposites do attract. It does keep my on my toes.

          Hahaha, that’s so funny. I can’t stop laughing. Thank you for pointing that out and making my day. That’s the best typo I have ever done.

          • It’s so funny! but when you think about it, there’s some truth in it (skinny bride and groom..not-so-skinny after a year or so) :)

  • Delegation is crucial. For me, the issue isn’t the desire to delegate. It’s doing it well. It’s difficult to not want to intervene in the middle if things aren’t going well. It’s also difficult for me to know when it is appropriate for me to intervene.

    • It really takes wisdom and discernment on when to and not to set in. Great point Loren.

  • This is a great topic for ministry Leaders to read Dan. Delegating Leadership really in any Organization is a hard thing only when you don’t trust others. However, you even laid out based on biblical principles who you should pass the reigns to. So with this road map I am going to use this and implement it in my business so that delegation happens by default.

    • I’m glad you enjoyed the post. I think it’s so important for church leaders to delegate responsibility to other staff and volunteers. Most volunteers would take responsibility or more responsibility if they were asked to. Thank you for reading and adding to the discussion.

  • Delegation is so important. I’m actually looking forward to this upcoming school year because I will have the opportunity to delegate more. We are looking at bringing on a graphic design/marketing intern in Ignite who will help relieve those duties off me. The amazing thing is, God gave me that promise years ago (that I would be offering internships in my ministry) and this girl contacted me looking for a graphic design internship when she found my marketing website. I’m pretty stoked!

    • That’s so cool Jason. You deserve more people helping you and the ministry your leading. Thank you for reading and sharing.

  • Yvonne Root

    Oh, this can be so difficult. And, as you’ve stated, so important. I’ve begun to treat some tasks in our household as if they were intrusted to an independent contractor. The fact that my hubby doesn’t make the bed, fold the clothes or wash the dishes the same way I do doesn’t matter. Because in the end the bed is made, the clothes folded and the dishes washed.
    I think one reason I’ve been a bit of a control freak in the past is I was concerned about what others would think of me. And, let’s face it, how many people parade through my house each day just to see if the bed is made so-so, the drawers are neat and tidy or the kitchen chrome is polished?

    In the business I co-own with my hubby, our daughter and our son-in-law we’ve learned that hiring an independent contractor on occasion takes nerve at the beginning (and we’ve made a few mistakes in the hiring) but pays off in the end. Allowing people to do that which they are good at and getting out of their way just makes sense.

    I’m thrilled with the freedom I gain when I let others do tasks their way. But, I must admit there are still those times I struggle with wanting to step in and show them “how it should be done.”

    • Yvonne Root,

      Both in our personal and professional life we need to delegate responsibility’s. However I think it’s important to not get worked up with the small stuff that does not have a huge impact (like making the bed or folding the clothes). It does need to be done but it’s not the end of the world if it does not get done.

      I think it requires wisdom to know you need to hire an outside contractor at times. It shows you want the best for your customers. What type of business do you guys own?

      Thank you for stopping by to read and share. Do you have a site or blog?

  • Delegating is so difficult for me. In the DISC profile, I score as a high “C” personality, which means we C’s ultimately think we can do “it” better than anyone else. It’s that pride thing. So, this is a huge lesson that I am working on!

    The example you cited from Acts is an excellent example of how we don’t have to be involved in every aspect of ministry, but those areas can still function with people who are more skilled at them.

    • Chris,

      I relate with you, though I have not taken the “DISC” test I know at times I trick myself in thinking I can or should do it all. At least it’s something we can work on. I’m glad you enjoyed the example. Thank you for reading and adding to the discussion.

  • Crucial thoughts.
    A leader who learns is much more apt to find a team who follows respectfully and contently.

    • Great addition Stephen. Thank you for stopping by and sharing.

  • It’s very important for a leader to delegate. My biggest fear of delegating, and I am just beginning to get over it, is that I wasn’t really sure what to delegate. My thinking was that people my think that I was giving them my job to do. But I feel more comfortable now with delegating tasks that my team can and should be doing, while I focus more on strategy and vision.

    • Juan Cruz,

      It is hard to determine what to delegate and what to do yourself. It sounds like your doing a great job with delegating. Thank you for reading and adding to the discussion.

  • Caleb

    Thanks Dan, I appreciate the great reminder. I really need to work on this in a couple of areas of my life. Often it’s a trust issue too. We just don’t want to trust others the way we should. It helps me to think about my own inabilities and to know that when I hand something over to someone else they may also stumble a times but that’s ok.

    • Caleb,

      Trust is essential when it comes to delegating responsibility. I would say it’s the foundation to handing off power and tasks. I think small steps could help us both in this area. Thank you for reading and commenting.