Are you the leader who has so much on her plate but find it extremely difficult to let things go? Maybe you actually want to get things off your plate but can’t find the time to make it happen. I find myself in both situations and I have a need to master the art of delegation but my role often requires being delegated to as well.
My hope is that this post will bring insight as we dive into the art of healthy delegation and what God’s Word has to say about it. God has put us in various positions on our jobs, homes, or in ministry for a specific reason. We have to recognize that we cannot do it all on our own. In Exodus 18, Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, gives some extremely wise counsel to him about delegating the work as he led the people of Israel.
Exodus 18:17-18, 21-22 NIV Moses’ father-in-law replied, “What you are doing is not good. You and these people who come to you will only wear yourselves out. The work is too heavy for you; you cannot handle it alone. But select capable men from all the people—men who fear God, trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain…That will make your load lighter because they will share it with you.”
Capable people are not perfect people. I thought about this a lot when sitting down to write because I usually set the bar so high for those I’m looking to give work to. It is good when we don’t want things to be handed over to ANYBODY, but it feels good to know that someone saw something inside of me and gave me the opportunity to spread my wings. Have I made mistakes? Tons of them! And I’ll continue to make them. Jethro advised Moses to find capable people, so that’s who we have to look for. Leave yourself and others the room to make mistakes, and when necessary we can guide them along the way. People flourish and are most fulfilled in safe environments. With leaders who coach us through mess-ups without forgetting the capability, they saw in us from the beginning.
We should be empowering not overwhelming. Often times when I am up to my ears in work, I become more focused on getting things off my plate. I completely ignore whether my delegating is actually empowering the person. Wisely select someone who is truly gifted for the job and not just good at it. The last thing to do is weigh someone else down with a project or role they are not wired to complete. We should be looking for those who are capable of taking on the role just as Jethro encouraged Moses to do. As a leader, give those around you an opportunity to express their passions and gifts. Then you can select capable and lasting people for the job. It may not be right away, but you’ll be thanking yourself later for the time you take in this.
We have to fully release to experience relief. There are times when I will “delegate” a task, yet want to know every single thing that is going on. I learned that when I am like that I cannot truly experience the relief that God wants me to have. I haven’t fully released the job. If you’ve given over the work to people who are capable, then trust them with that. Train them in everything they need to know and make them feel welcome enough to always come to you if there is ever any challenge. As leaders, we should always be available and willing to maintain a connection with our people. However, we don’t have to be a quasi-micromanager to accomplish that.
We hope this has been helpful to you! Share any pieces of advice that you’ve learned when it comes to the delegation at work, home, or ministry!
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