One of the most important jobs is learning to delegate. Some people are not willing to work through others to accomplish greater ministry. Consequently, these ministers of music may experience burn out; they may not have long-term ministries.
Perhaps ministers of music resist delegation because much of their training is spent in isolation. They may also have an artistic temperment – deep down, no one else can do a job that pleases them! For long-term success, nothing is more critical to effective ministry than the ability to delegate appropriately.
Delegation is the ability to give the job to someone else, define the parameters for accomplishing the job, and granting the authority to get the job done. For many, the most difficult part is giving the job to someone else. Perhaps we are afraid that others will not think we’ re doing our work, or our ego doesn’t want to accept the fact that someone else can do a job well. Whatever the reason for our hesitations, we must learn to delegate some tasks to others. Once the job is delegated, determine the pertinent factors. Then, give the person the authority to make decisions related to the job’s ultimate completion. Without authority, the person to whom you’ve delegated the job will not be empowered and will not fully own the process. You must accept that the job will not be completed as you would have done it. Often the job will be done better!
What Should You Delegate?Generally, you should delegate jobs that (1) someone can do better than you, (2) someone can do instead of you, (3) someone can do with better timing, or (4) will help someone grow and develop as a leader.
Progress in churches, is severely hampered by administrators who keep too much work for themselves. Their need to control outweighs their desire to see the organization make progress. Ultimately, these administrators keep other people from thriving because work gets caught in the system waiting for someone to move it along, and they foster an organization with many undeveloped leaders!
Define the Responsibility – Define what is to be done. Be sure that the person to whom you’ve delegated the task knows exactly what to do. Write a definition of what is to be done and follow up with verbal instructions. Allow plenty of time for questions.
Establish the Parameters - Determine completion date, budget, who else should be involved, priority level, and how often you want to receive reports.
Let It Go – After building checkpoints into the process, let the job go. If you constantly look over people’s shoulders, they will not be able to do their best work, and you will not be able to do the work that you intended to accomplish by delegating!
Check Up – Although you’ve delegated the work, you are still responsible to see that the work is accomplished. It is better to build in normal check up times from the beginning instead of doing random checks.
Evaluate – Take time to evaluate once the task is complete. Evaluating assures the person that you value their contribution and input.
Express Gratitude – Always express gratitude for work that is done. Even when it’s not done according to your specifications, be grateful for someone’s attempt. Give praise for work that succeeds, and share responsibility for work that is less than desirable.
Avoid Upward Delegation
Upward delegation happens when the person to whom you have delegated work hands it back to you. Once a person realizes that you will take work back or do their work when they don’t do it, you will have the problem through the remainder of the relationship. This might happen for several reasons:
Instructions were not adequate - The directions must be clear. Give plenty of details and ask questions to make sure the person completely understands what is expected.
Ownership of the task was not clear - Be sure the person understands that the project is theirs, and they are fully responsible for every aspect of the task.
“I’ve Got a Problem” - When the person comes to you with this phrase, before meeting with them, ask that they come prepared to discuss two or three options for solving the problem. Force the person work on the problem before they reassign it to you.
Avoid saying “Let Me Think About It” - This phrase puts the ball back in your court, and they’ve successfully handed the task back to you.
Procrastination - Some people will wait until the last minute, which creates a crisis. If you can possibly survive without rescuing them, do so. If the organization depends on the task, you may have to rescue someone. When this happens, confront the person and let them know that, in the future, you will not come to their rescue.