One of my shortcomings as a pastor was doing everything myself. Now, I don’t mean I literally did everything, but a lot that I could have delegated, I did myself. Why?
First, I have prided myself in being a person who is indispensable, I have liked to think if someone doesn’t come through, then at least I can do it. I remember years ago, we lost our choir director, so I did that and even directed the Christmas musical. I had piano lessons. Plus, I had taken a seminary course in directing music for non-professionals. I actually enjoyed directed the choir. But, wasn’t there someone else who could have done it? I’m pretty sure that was, but as Mr. indispensable, I decided to do it. Pride goes before destruction, the Bible tells us. And I good way to destruct oneself physically is to overload your schedule.
A second reason too many pastors don’t delegate is fear of criticism. Someone is bound to say, “Don’t we pay the pastor to do that?” So it’s easier to visit every person in the hospital than to delegate it to deacons or other church leaders. I’m not saying pastors shouldn’t visit the hospitalized. I’m suggesting that as pastor you don’t have to personally do all the visitation, even if it means some criticism. Now, I’m a social creature. I enjoy visiting people. But sermon preparation and planning are areas that require a goodly amount of time, and a pastor needs to focus on those.
Third, the Bible teaches that leaders need to disciple and mentor others. We see biblical examples of this, beginning with Jesus, who trained 12 men. Paul made it a point to take others with him on his missionary journeys. The Christian faith needs to be spread far and wide. Paul was remarkable in his dedication, travels and church planting. But he knew that Mark, Timothy, Silas and others needed to be trained so they could witness and train others. (See 1 Timothy 2:2).
Pastors, you have busy schedules. Yes, I believe you need to be in touch with people and work hard. But you don’t have to do it all. Also, train people as you work, so they can use their spiritual gifts and the entire body can be functional (See 1 Cor. 12).
Ashton C. Smith, Certified Church Consultant