How can I make delegation work?

The surest way is to have such a relationship with your missions leadership, both staff and/or lay leaders, that that is a large sense of trust and understanding.  Relationships trump ripples of problems that will inevitably occur.  If you and your mission leaders are “on the same page” and trust each other, you’ll be able to repair and rebuild any glitches that pop up with a minimum of lost inertia.  So, take the time to meet with your missions leaders.  Visit that Missions Team from time to time.  Show appreciation for their hard work behind the scenes.

Written communication usually helps clarify and sharpen expectations.  These are not “edits” or “memos” giving orders from on high.  Rather, it will be a summary of a conversation in which some direction or guidance was given, received, and understood by all involved.  Having the missions team keep a record of minutes or proceedings of which you receive a courtesy copy will help you keep up with what’s going on in their meetings.  Yes, that means you have to read it!  Certainly having the person responsible as a missions leader of the missions team reporting with some regularity to the elder or governing leadership board of the church will go a long way to having “no surprises.”

A part of the missions policy document/s should be simple job or position descriptions.  Anything to keep expectations and accountability clear is a help, without being overbearing or over-detailed.  You still need to allow people to discover or creativity figure out how to do their tasks.  It’s possible that they would do things differently AND better than you and other church leaders might imagine!

Give lots of credit as publicly as is reasonable to those who are behind significant progress or events.  Good leaders give credit freely and take blame for themselves.  Doing so will encourage trust and loyalty much more than you might think.  Be a good listener; offer your evaluations and corrections cautiously and in the right context.

These delegation skills will serve you well in any area of ministry, not just missions.


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