What do you do when your church is growing and your responsibilities are increasing?
There are only two options: You either hire another staff member, or get better at distributing your work. If you don’t do either, then there will be a glass ceiling that will forever haunt you. I answered the former solution in an earlier post, so today we’ll look at the importance of distributing your work.
I love this quote by Sun Tzu from The Art of War:
“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”
To paraphrase, if you know your enemy, you’ll win 50% of the time, but if you know yourself, you’ll win the other half.
How often do we spend all our time reading the latest strategies and methods for leadership and ministry, while neglecting the important task of learning what kind of leader God has made us to be? This reminds me of that old Hebraic tale of Rabbi Zusya and Moses: When he was an old man, Zusya said, “In the coming world, they will not ask me: ‘Why were you not Moses?’ They will ask me: ‘Why were you not Zusya?’”
The reason we would rather live someone else’s story, than discover our own, is because introspection is hard work.
However, unless you discover how God has uniquely wired you, then you’ll never know your unique kingdom contribution, and that glass ceiling will follow you everywhere.
So let’s get back to that original question, what do you do when your church is growing and your responsibilities are increasing?
Well, first of all, you better not take it all on yourself! That only leads to burnout. So you need to get better at delegation.
There’s a fork in the road at this point. There are some who believe that you need to surround yourself with a team and let them choose what they want to do, while you get the scraps. While this may sound servant-like and altruistic, it’s actually foolish. Play this out for a bit. If you keep on giving away the things that you do best and the things that give you life, where do you think you’ll end up? That’s right. Burnout. Again.
Instead, you actually need to ask yourself two questions: What are the leadership responsibilities unique to my role? And how do my strengths line up with those tasks? Answering both questions will take a lot of time, but the first question is pretty straightforward since you just need to write out all of your responsibilities and tasks, and then systematically cross out the ones that others can do. You will then be left with a list of responsibilities and tasks that you and only you can uniquely do. Answering the second question is much harder work though, since it requires introspection. However, once you discover your strengths and how they line up with your responsibilities and tasks, you will have essentially carved out a role for yourself that plays to your strengths, while managing your weaknesses. The beauty of this rationale is that your weaknesses are actually going to be someone else’s strengths.
So how do you discover your strengths? How do you discover the way that God has uniquely wired you? How do you determine the unique kingdom contribution that you have been designed to make?
First of all, take a moment and do some introspection by answering these questions: