059 – Defeating the Delegation Demon [Podcast]

Help for knowing how to let go

Defeating the DELEGATION

photo credit: canva.com


Welcome to Season 2 of the Your Church Matters podcast.  In this episode (59), I shared some thoughts from others as well as some of my own on one of the hardest tasks pastors and leaders ever have: delegation.



In my 20 years as a pastor, particularly as the only full-time member of the church staff, delegation was a killer.

Some reasons we have a hard time delegating

  1. We don’t think we have anyone who is qualified or ready.
  2. We know we can do it better than most anyone else.
  3. We can do it more quickly than we can teach someone else how to do it.
  4. We worry about what people will think of us if we are not in the middle of everything.
  5. We don’t want to give up control.


We often don't delegate because we refuse to give up control. Click To Tweet


Inspiration for this podcast

Ray Edwards show Episode 203 conversation with Chris Ducker (author of Virtual Freedom: How to Work with Virtual Staff to Buy More Time, Become More Productive, and Build Your Dream Business)

Quote from Amazon description: Entrepreneurs often suffer from “superhero syndrome”—the misconception that to be successful, they must do everything themselves. Not only are they the boss, but also the salesperson, HR manager, copywriter, operations manager, online marketing guru, and so much more. It’s no wonder why so many people give up the dream of starting a business—it’s just too much for one person to handle.

Does that sound anything like a small church pastor?  Try this on for size: Pastors often suffer from “messiah syndrome”–the misconception that to be faithful, they must do everything themselves.  Not only are they the pastor, but also the teacher, the counselor, the custodian, the secretary, the leader, the helper, the emergency midnight call recipient, the hospital visitor, the worship leader, graphic designer, and so much more.  It’s no wonder why so many are exhausted and frustrated and are thinking about going to another church–it’s just too much for one person to handle.

Chris Ducker’s 3 Lists to Freedom (mentioned on the podcast)

  1. What are you doing that you hate doing?
  2. What are you doing that you struggle with doing?
  3. What are you doing that you shouldn’t be doing?

His point with these lists is that these are the activities that should be delegated.

Earl Nightingale quote (mentioned by Ray Edwards on the podcast): Work activities are either (1) goal achieving or (2) tension relieving.  How do you want to spend your time?

His  point as that if an activity does not either help you relieve your tension or help you achieve your goals, should you really be spending time doing it?


My Delegation Questions

I have asked the following 3 questions in many contexts when people are stuck.  I think they are particularly pertinent when someone is hesitant to delegate a task.

  1. What is the worst thing that could happen?
  2. What is the likelihood that the worst thing will happen?
  3. How bad would it really be if the worst thing did happen?

After listening to the Ray Edwards/Chris Ducker interview, I thought of 3 companion questions:

  1. What is the best thing that could happen?
  2. What is the likelihood that the best thing will happen?
  3. What are you doing that is keeping the best thing from happening?

Sometimes our hesitance to delegate results in constant self-sabotage.  What doors of opportunity could effective delegation open for you?


Sometimes our hesitance to delegate results in constant self-sabotage. Click To Tweet



So, how do you find candidates for delegation:

  1. First, identify people with a heart for the church and its ministry.
  2. Second, identify their skills, spiritual gifts, and passions.
  3. Third, gauge their teach-ability.
  4. Fourth, begin developing (discipling) them with a view to the future.
    1. I do, you watch.
    2. I help you do.
    3. You do, I watch.
    4. You do and report to me for feedback.
    5. You do, I rejoice and cheer.
    6. You and I both repeat the process with someone else.
  5. Finally, consider what you can outsource.


What’s the next step for you?  How can I help you?


How you can help me

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To comment on this episode or leave a question for a future episode:

1. Comment section below

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*Special thanks to Keith Cooper (Guitar Music)

*Special thanks to Nathan Woodward (Saxophone Music)

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive, argumentative, off-topic, or just plain unhelpful.