Editorial

Wise delegation

Identify volunteers who are full of wisdom.

Derek Morris is editor of Ministry Magazine

Have you ever felt overwhelmed by the never-ending demands of ministry? God does not expect you to do all of the work alone. He wants you to delegate responsibility to others.

Most of us already know we need help, but sometimes we make the mistake of delegating responsibility to the wrong people. Perhaps you asked someone to help with a project and ended up thinking, “I should have done it myself.” That’s the wrong response. Delegation was the appropriate course of action, but you need to remember three important qualifications when delegating responsibility: We find these qualifications embedded in the Acts 6 narrative.

A good reputation

Perhaps you were expecting the first recommendation to be about education or age, but the first qualification you need to look for when delegating responsibility is a good reputation. Would you delegate responsibility to a great communicator who lies or a financial advisor who steals? Hopefully your answer is No! You must find someone with a good reputation. While a good reputation can be ruined overnight, it is not developed in a moment. A good reputation is the product of a lifetime. An example of a Christian with a good reputation was Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus. He was so appreciated by his peers they gave him a nickname: Barnabas, Son of Encouragement (Acts 4:36). He maintained that good reputa­tion in every Scripture narrative that bears his name. Some years ago I needed help with I met a retired hospital manager who was assisting with an administrative assignment. It became clear to me that Lois not only had a distinguished career, she had a good reputation. Asking her to serve as my volunteer administrative assistant was one of the most important decisions I made.

Some years ago I needed help with administration at a growing church I pastored. At one of our staff meetings,I met a retired hospital manager who was assisting with an administrative assignment. It became clear to me that Lois not only had a distinguished career, she had a good reputation. Asking her to serve as my volunteer administrative assistant was one of the most important decisions I made.

Full of the Holy Spirit

A second important qualification to remember when delegating respon­sibility is also listed in Acts 6:3—full of the Holy Spirit. A remarkable example of wise delegation in the early Christian community was the selection of Stephen the deacon. Scripture records he was full of faith and power (Acts 6:8, NKJV), but he was also full of the Holy Spirit (Acts 6:5). Those who opposed his Christian witness were not able to resist the Spirit by which he spoke (Acts 6:10).

Here is an important question for Christian leaders who wish to delegate wisely: how can you discern whether a person is full of the Holy Spirit? Perhaps you can identify them by their fruit (Matt. 7:20). The apostle Paul tells us, “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” (Gal. 5:22, 23, NKJV). If this fruit is manifested in the life, there is a good chance that person is full of the Spirit. I say “a good chance” because people can try to trick you. Jesus spoke of those who look good externally, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves (Matt. 7:15, NKJV). The only way we can be certain that a person is filled with the Spirit is to be filled with the Spirit ourselves. Since spiritual things are spiritually discerned, we need to ask our Father in heaven to fill us with the enabling presence of His Spirit in order

Full of wisdom

A third important qualification to remember when delegating responsi­bility is also found in Acts 6:3—full of wisdom. Being full of wisdom and being highly educated are not necessarily synonymous. There are highly educated fools and people full of wisdom who have little formal education. Those who are full of wisdom put into practice what they have learned. A person who understands all of the details about healthful living and yet doesn’t exercise is not wise. Jesus said, “ ‘Whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock’ ” (Matt. 7:24, NKJV). When delegating responsibility, look for individuals who put into practice the truths they have learned. Identify volunteers who are full of wisdom.

Wise delegation was needed in the early Christian church and is still needed today. May God direct your steps as you identify anointed leaders; delegate responsibility; and release authority to those who have a good reputation, are filled with the Holy Spirit, and are full of wisdom.


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Derek Morris is editor of Ministry Magazine

May 2016

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