About 6 years ago the middle school youth ministry at our church was a 1 1/2 man show. Â The 1/2 was our worship leader Erik and everything from tech, activity, message and set-up of the room was me. Â I had plenty of small group leaders and a few people to help me out with the worship portion of the ministry. Â But I utilized them as room decor more than ministers. Â Some of them left, a few of them stayed and eventually told me, “You don’t always have to be in control.”
It was a little shocking at first; however, the more I thought about what I was doing, the more I realized that I was doing too much. Not only that, but I was doing too much of the wrong stuff. Â In the end I felt like I had to be in control over everything.
As the leader of your youth ministry you need to steer the ship, and lead the troops towards the vision. Â But, that doesn’t always mean:
- Making The Decisions: While you might hold ultimate say over what happens in your ministry, it’s healthy to allow others to make certain decisions. Â Those decisions might be when to start the program to what order the message, activity and music flow for your ministry. Â When you entrust someone with decision making power, it allows the ministry to move when you are not always present.
- Having Creative Authority:Â You do not have perfect taste or perspective on what is quality. Â There are volunteers in your ministry who have artistic and visual backgrounds that can bring your ministry to a new level. Â Allow them to share their creative gifts with the music, activities and environments of your ministry.
- Working Within The Details: You might love numbers and data,Â but it can be a time sucker that prevents you from extending your true capacity. Â Allowing others to track expenses, growth and handle overall paperwork will allow you to spend more time on the relational aspects of ministry.
- Getting Your Hands Dirty: Â As a leader no task is beneath you; however, if you are constantly stacking chairs, sweeping floors and repairing that ping-pong table for the 100th time then you are missing out on a lot of ministry. Â Build a team that is willing to get their hands dirty. Â Just because you delegate it doesn’t mean you are ignoring the importance of the task. Â Just realize you need help.
Being a leader means knowing when to delegate and when to get into the trenches. Â That’s why you must always seek:
- Accountability: When you are in the trenches it’s easy to develop tunnel vision. Â Always have a group of people to call you out when you’ve taken too much control. Â Give those close to you the authority to point out where you need help and where you need to step up as a leader.
- Sabbath: When you are stressed, pushed and pulled it’s easy to grasp for control. Â The problem is you are acting out of desperation, which means a foggy mind. Â A Sabbath is not only time to enjoy with the Lord but also a time to refocus and clear your mind. Â If you are rested you can think clearly on where to give and what to take.
It’s a scary concept not to be in control. Â While you understand the importance of delegating and sharing responsibility, it can still be exhausting. Â Trust that the Lord has surrounded you with the right people. Â In the end when the responsibility is shared your ministry’s reach is much further.
What area of ministry do you struggle to share with your team?