Manpower: People are selected and placed in positions that fit their gifts, passions and callings and that align with the church’s objectives and culture

Why Don’t Church Leaders Delegate?

Most church staff are notoriously bad at delegating. Delegation is proven to boost productivity, efficiency and effectiveness yet not all church leaders are willing or able to delegate. But why?

As stated in last week’s post, most organizations don’t teach their leaders how to delegate, especially churches. However, there are a number of other reasons besides a lack of training as to why pastors and church staff supervisors are hesitant to delegate…..here are the ones I hear and see (and have used myself) most frequently:

I Believe No One Can Do the Job as Well as I Can: A church leader’s job is to guide, develop, and oversee their staff in order to fulfill the mission of the church. Leaders can’t and shouldn’t do all the work themselves, even if they feel they can do the job better. Leaders need to be willing to give up control, accept that other people have different (and sometimes better) ways of doing things.

I Think It Takes Too Much Time to Train Someone: Part of leading and developing church staff includes training. Yes, it takes extra time to train someone on a new task or developing a new skill, but you need to think of it as an investment that will pay off in the benefits we shared in The Importance and Benefits of Delegation.

I Have a Lack of Trust in the Employees’ Motivation: Another part of a leader’s job is to identify future leaders, as well as to identify their employee’s strengths and weaknesses. Without delegation, you’ll never know the level of motivation or skill your employees have for a given task or responsibility.

I Need to Make Myself Indispensable: If you’re in a leadership position and worried about your job, learn how to do your job better, which includes becoming a better delegator.

I Enjoy Doing the Work Myself: While many leaders do enjoy doing the work themselves, and receiving the credit for a job well done, it is a poor reason for not delegating and is inconsistent with your role as a facilitator, developer and overseer of staff.

I Feel Bad About Giving More Work to an Overloaded Staff: Feeling that your staff is overloaded or overworked is pretty common for a church leader. So, giving your staff more to do can feel like you’re just dumping more work on them. However, when the right task is delegated at the right time, delegation can increase rather than decrease staff job satisfaction.

I Fear that if I Delegate Responsibility, Others Will Conclude That I Can’t Handle My Responsibilities: A church leader is responsible for the overall effectiveness of their team or ministry. When the team or ministry is successful the leader will be recognized as a key facilitator of that success.

Delegation can seem scary, but it gets easier with time and practice. Start small by delegating a couple of responsibilities to members of your staff over the next week or two and take note of the benefits you see and enjoy.



Posted on April 27, 2021

Jim Baker

Jim is a Church Organizational Leadership and Management Coach, Consultant and Trainer. Throughout his career Jim has demonstrated a passion for showing Pastors and Ministers how to use organizational tools for church and personal growth and health.

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“For I may be absent in body, but I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see how well ordered you are and the strength of your faith in Christ.” Colossians 2:5