What’s the Deal with Delegation? Part 1: Defining Delegation

One of the most common mistakes Christians make is to accept more responsibility than they can handle. Well-intentioned church commitments lead to burdensome tasks that are emotionally, physically, and spiritually draining.  I must admit that I often struggle in this area. Despite best intentions, I find it difficult to let go and let others.
Although James 1:22 says ”But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves,” we must also show spiritual discernment to avoid burnout (NASB).  This will hopefully help us distinguish between doing church work vs. the work of the church:  doing things that are perpetual vs. things that are purposeful.
Yet how do we strike an appropriate balance?  The answer lies in our understanding of the term “delegation.”   On a basic level, the word “delegation” refers to the process through which tasks are assessed and assigned based on the spiritual temperament of team members.  Scripture is filled with examples of delegation. Consider how God permits Adam to name animals (Genesis 2:20), Jethro advises Moses to assign tasks to trusted men (Exodus 18:1-27), and the Apostles recommend the early church choose seven deacons (Acts 6:1-6).
For the previous examples and others, delegation requires great prayer and spiritual discernment because the intent is never to provide menial assignments or give an impression that you are an unwilling worker in God’s kingdom.  For this reason, some confuse delegation with laziness.
Delegation involves three Godly principles that I will address in the future:  1) reinforcing the directives of the Great Commission, 2) establishing proper attitudes toward church leadership, and 3) improving personal prayer life.  

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