Last week, I was reading in Acts 6 when complaints began to arise among the believers in the early church in Jerusalem. The problem was that the Greek speaking widows were being overlooked in the daily food service. The Twelve called a meeting and said, "It isn't right for us to set aside proclamation of God's word in order to serve tables." So seven well-respected men were chosen from the early believers who were well respectd and who would foucs on the daily food distribution so that that no one was being left out. This left the Twelve the freedom to focus on prayer and the proclammation of the word.
This is the struggle of a small or maintenence church. Most of the ministries revolve around the pastor. This is usually a result of the pastor not being able to let go- or of a consumeristic mindset of the congregation rather than a service/ministry mindset. Often it is the combination of the two.
Reading the passage, I'm struck by the Twelve being able to focus on what they were best equipped to do- pray and proclaim the word. The food service was a ministry that others could do.
I went to a Catalyst Oneday event in Baltimore a few years back. I remember Craig Groeschel's words about delegation. He encouraged the crowd of pastors/leaders/worship leaders/youth pastors/and hipsters who love Jesus that we should delegate everything that only we can do. Groeschel said that there are only four things that only I can do. They are...
1. Be the best husbad I can be to my wife: If not, someone else will fill that void
2. Be the best father I can be to my children: If not, someone or something will take my place
3. Takes care of my body. It's the only one I will get and only I can decide to treat it right.
4. Take care of my spiritual life. No one can get up and pray for me- or study my Bible.
If we are equipping and releasing people in ministry- then we afford ourselves the space to work on that which only we can control. By delegating, we grow the faith of the people around us while growing our own faith. As 2012 begins to move forward, I want to equip others to share in ministry with me, to call men and women to minister in their passion so that I might be able to do the same. I want to hand-off important parts of ministry so that I can serve out of my passions and strengths for a great impact for the kingdom.
What are some things that you can delegate in 2012? Re-read the list above, which of the four areas have you been neglecting? How will you grow those areas in 2012?