Delegation vs. Dumping in Student Ministry

Have you ever been asked to do something without understanding how or why it was important? Have you ever ran out of help and frantically ran around looking for the nearest person to fill a spot?

I think for leaders we have all faced this situation. It happens. We need help in many areas of student ministry (small group leader, co-leaders, host team, check-in, café, special events and so on). My heart is to help leaders develop their full potential in what God has called them to become. In student ministry, it is amazing to see a leader disciple a student and come back to me with tears in their eyes and heart bursting for God's glory being shown in their lives. It pumps me up every time.

On the flip side, I've had conversations with leaders (in my past 8 years of ministry) where they felt inadequate and overwhelmed.

At times I delegated and other times I dumped.

Let's define it:   Delegation: Empowering people to fulfill their passion in the ministry with coaching, teamwork and encouragement. Delegation builds a team of leaders who are owners of the ministry.

  Dumping:  Pouring tasks upon people without vision, direction or encouragement. Dumping breeds the pied-piper student ministry where there is only one or two experts and people feel useless and eventually quit serving.

Our student ministry staff had a meeting today and went over the process of delegating vs. dumping.

We shared the implications of delegation vs. dumping:

 We try to follow  3 main steps of delegation:

  1. Watch me do it. Give the leader a chance to watch you practically show them how by shadowing you. Help them understand the vision of why they are a small group volunteer. Help them see the 30,000 foot view. They have an impact on this generation! People are hungry to see how we lead, so give them opportunities to learn.

 2. Now I'll watch you do it. Give them the opportunity to lead the small group session or share their story. Let them know they are capable and encourage them along the way. Ask questions that lead the students to see this person as a leader ("John, what are your thoughts on it?").  Practically give them small steps to grow as a leader. Encourage them and ask questions. One of the best questions to ask is, "how can I help you?"

3. Now you do it. Give away the ministry! Always be there to coach leaders and redirect if needed. It is a hard process to give ownership to others. Giving away ministry helps leaders develop the ministry more than we ever could have imagined.

Dumping is easier but in the long run you spend more time cleaning it up. Dumping = addition.

Delegation empowers people to become leaders. Delegation = multiplication. Delegating helps people find their sweet spot. As leaders our main job is to equip people to become all that God wants them to become!

Dumping creates youth chaperones. Delegation creates youth ministers.

 "Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ. This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ." Ephesians 4:12-13

Join the conversation. What do you think about delegation or dumping?