5 KEYS TO GROWING IN DELEGATION
But as the believers rapidly multiplied, there were rumblings of discontent. The Greek-speaking believers complained about the Hebrew-speaking believers, saying that their widows were being discriminated against in the daily distribution of food. 2 So the Twelve called a meeting of all the believers. They said, “We apostles should spend our time teaching the word of God, not running a food program. 3 And so, brothers, select seven men who are well respected and are full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will give them this responsibility. 4 Then we apostles can spend our time in prayer and teaching the word.” 5 Everyone liked this idea, and they chose the following: Stephen (a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit), Philip, Procorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas of Antioch (an earlier convert to the Jewish faith). 6 These seven were presented to the apostles, who prayed for them as they laid their hands on them. 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.
Acts 6:1-7 NLT
The picture we see in Acts is a picture of a Church that is experiencing some rapid growth. The growth has brought a lot of people. The growth, through the drawing & work of The Person of The Holy Spirit, has brought in people from all different walks of life. The growth & expansion of The Kingdom was amazing. The growth; however, also began causing some problems.
Here in Acts 6 we get a sneak peak of the way The Apostles responded to the issues they were experiencing. We get a sneak peak of how they prayed & discerned what to do next, released new people into leadership positions, & acted quickly, all with the end result being God's message continue to spread and the numbers of believers continued to increase.
Acts 6 is a case study on what proper delegation looks.
What is delegation?
A delegate is defined as a person designated to act for or represent another or others. To delegate something is to simply entrust, assign or transfer something over.
What delegation is not is dumping the stuff you don’t want to do on someone else. Delegation is not controlling others to a point where they are robots doing things exactly the way you want them done so that you create a little mini me. Delegation done right is empowering & equipping someone else to take something & bring it to the next level.
So how do you delegate properly? How do you hand something over so growth can continue & people continue to thrive & feel cared for? Here are 5 Keys The Apostles teach us on how to properly delegate:
5 Keys of Proper Delegation
1. DEFINE WHAT YOU CAN'T DELEGATE.
So the Twelve called a meeting of all the believers. They said, “We apostles should spend our time teaching the word of God, not running a food program
This is easy overlook. The apostles knew what they should be doing & the work that only they could do & because of that they knew what they needed to let go of & let someone else do. Before you decide what you need to let go of you need to determine what you can't let go of.
Click HERE to see the 4 things I feel like I can't delegate as a Lead Pastor of our church. You have to know what your 3 to 5 are as well in the position you are currently in. Once you know what you can't delegate you can then start creating a list of everything else you need to delegate.
2. SET THE QUALIFICATIONS.
3 And so, brothers, select seven men who are well respected and are full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will give them this responsibility.
I love the criteria that was used for looking for people to fill leadership positions in the church. The qualifications for leadership in the early church were not crazy gifted & the charisma of a rock star. The qualifications for leadership were that they were to be well respected and full of the Spirit.
What do you look for when you look for future leaders? Do you look for those who are gifted or well respected? Do you look for those who are full of themselves or full of The Spirit?
#3 DEFINE, DOCUMENT, AND COMMUNICATE EXPECTATIONS.
This isn't directly listed in Acts 6, but I see precedent for it all throughout scripture. A great case study of this is when Moses was giving instructions on who was to build the Tabernacle in the book of Exodus. They give detailed expectations & instructions that were defined, documented, and communicated.
I have fallen short of this key quite a few times. The failure to do define, document, and communicate expectations on the front side of delegation always leads to frustration. Not only frustration on your end, but also frustration on the one who's been tasked to do something's end as well. I've also found that taking the time to take this step also helps me on the front side to establish and give language to what I really want to see. I am learning to tell myself time and time again that I can't be frustrated with someone I haven't properly communicated expectations with.
#4 RELEASE WITH RESPONSIBILITY
These seven were presented to the apostles, who prayed for them as they laid their hands on them.
They chose 7 men and gave them responsibility not a task. Then then called them in and prayed for them and laid hands on them. The laying on of hands implies blessing, transfer of power, separation, and/or consecration. They empowered them and released them. In short, they removed any restrictions and let them run.
#5 CHECK IN, CELEBRATE, & COACH ALONG THE WAY
This also isn't listed directly in Acts 6 but you see the Apostles doing this quite frequently after setting people in place. They would leave, come back, check in, celebrate and/or correct, and continue to coach along the way. A great example of this is Moses doing this after the responsibility of building the Tabernacle had been given.
Then Moses inspected all their work. When he found it had been done just as the Lord had commanded him, he blessed them.
Exodus 39:43 NLT
Moses inspected what he expected, and we should do the same. A good leader follows up on assigned responsibilities and gives rewards for good work and continued coaching on how to keep improving.
THE END RESULT OF PROPER DELEGATION
The end result of proper delegation was this:
So God’s message continued to spread. The number of believers greatly increased in Jerusalem, and many of the Jewish priests were converted, too.
God's message continued to spread & the Kingdom of God grew & was expanded!
QUESTIONS & APPLICATION
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 too much? Who can you empower in your circle? Who can you send? Who can you release to do more?