I read Acts 6:1-7 a while back and have been using it as my road map on the art of delegation ever since.
In Acts 6, we read that the number of believers was rapidly growing but with growth came a few problems. So long story short, The Apostles called a meeting and said we should be focusing on prayer & teaching, not foodservice. In today's context fill in the blank on whatever you should be really be spending your time on instead of what you are currently spending most of your time on.
The Apostles had a problem. So what did they do? They called a meeting and came up with a brilliant plan. They said let's assign a few people to do what they are called to do so we can keep doing what we are called to do. So they chose 7 men & delegated this new "ministry" to them. The result of their leadership is found in Acts 6:7,
So God’s message continued to spread. The number of believers greatly increased in Jerusalem, and many of the Jewish priests were converted, too.
What did the apostles do to continue to see growth? I think the answer can be found in one phrase - proper delegation.
What does it mean to delegate?
A delegate can be defined as a person designated to act for or represent another or other's interests. At its core, to delegate is to empower another to do something on your behalf.
Why people don't delegate
There are many reasons people and leaders don't delegate. These have been my errors that I've made over the years as well as some common things I've seen:
We've selected the wrong people in the past & it didn't work out.
We are fearful of letting things go because someone might not do it the way we want it done.
It takes a lot of time on the front end to train, teach, and show someone else how to do what needs to be done & it's easier to just do it yourself.
We have never taken the time to create clear guidelines and write down expectations. Because of this, you can't articulate what needs to be done don't explain & other people can't properly run with the vision.
We don’t realize the urgency of delegation. That we as leaders are literally the cap to our organizations and team's growth. er than you and will actually enjoy it!
We don’t realize the urgency of delegation. That we as leaders are literally the cap to our organizations and team's growth.
This is a hard one to admit, but a lot of us are too insecure to let someone else shine & fearful of somebody else getting the credit.
2 Keys to growing in delegation
If you empower & delegate to the right people, there is no limit to what your organization can accomplish. And while I think most would agree with the prior sentence on the power of delegation, from what I've seen few know how to do it well.
Here are two major keys we learn from The Apostles in Acts 6. This is not exhaustive, but it sure is a great starting point!
#1 SET THE QUALIFICATIONS
In Acts 6:3 here are the qualifications that were listed for leadership positions in the early church. It's probably not what you would think....
The qualifications for leadership in the early church you see in Acts 6:3 were that you needed to be well respected and full of The Spirit. That was it!
Is that what we look for when looking for new leaders? Those who are well respected and full of the Spirit? What does full of the Spirit look like? Galatians 5:22-23 - love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
One of my biggest mistakes over the years has been looking for rock stars & looking past the well respected.
One of my biggest mistakes over the years has been looking for rock stars & looking right past the well respected.
Key #1 when looking for people to empower is to look for those who are well respected & full of The Spirit.
#2 RELEASE WITH RESPONSIBILITY
In Acts 6:6 The Apostles chose 7 men who were well respected & full of The Spirit. They then gave them responsibility not a task list. Releasing with responsibility creates leaders; releasing with a task list creates followers.
Releasing with responsibility creates leaders; releasing with a task list creates followers.
So they selected these men, called them in, prayed for them & laid hands on them. What does laying of hands signify? Laying of hands implies blessing, transfer of power, separation or consecration. They empowered them and released them. In short, they gave them detailed instructions & then they removed any restrictions and let the team run.
Question today. What do you need to hand over as a leader? What is being limited in your scope of influence because you are hanging on to much? Who can you empower in your circle? Who can you send? Who can you release to do more?