Team Development: Finding Tasks As a Means to Empowering Staff

Team Development: Finding Tasks As a Means to Empowering Staff

Regardless of church size, each church has had to deal with burnout in some way with its staff. Empowerment allows you to take some things off your plate.

If you're like me, you tend to want to do things yourself because #1 it's the "right way" (in your mind), and #2, because you can get it done faster by doing it yourself, while not having to teach someone.

If you are looking to create leaders, giving your staff a list of things that need to get done by the end of the week isn’t the means to achieve it.

But if your leading a team of people, and one of your jobs is to raise up leaders, then you need to practice the art of empowerment.

If you then give your staff a list of things they need to get done by the end of the week, and you say to them, "Here is how I want this done," that's not empowerment.

I'm not talking about giving someone a task list of things to do I'm talking about giving them the responsibility of taking care of something, and putting the system in place so that it happens week to week.

What that amounts to is handing over the keys to the car, and letting them adjust the seat and mirrors, and drive it anyway they want. Just giving them the keys, and saying to them that they can move the car from here to the garage, but "Don't go over 5 mph," or "Park it forward, not backward," or "Make sure to set the emergency brake," will amount to becoming nothing more than just a task.

I know, that sounds scary, but again if one of your goals is to raise up leaders, then it has to be done.

Giving a person the ability to create something and have ownership of it, is developing them to think and design in an area they are passionate about. I'm not saying that giving someone a task to do is wrong, but again if your goal is to raise up leaders and not just workers then you need to give away a piece of your job.

Who is the right person to do that with? I will say for starters to make sure you can trust that individual who are seeking to turn into a leader, someone who has proven reliability. The last thing you want to do is empower someone who has shown a lack of responsibility.

This principle really applies to working with volunteers.

One of the tips I talk about in my "How to Keep a Volunteer for Life" seminar is truly empowering them. Let them own a piece of the ministry they are serving in. Give them a project like coming up with a better way to organize and store the raw video files.

Obviously, you need to check in with them and do the final approval, but let them own it. Even if it's not necessarily the way you would do the task yourself. Then have them train others on how to use it. This will give a sense of ownership in the ministry and produces longevity in serving in that ministry.

Here is how true empowerment helps you, it helps avoid burnout. Every church I've ever worked at has had to deal with the question "How do you avoid burning out your staff?"

Small or big, multisite or not, denominational or nondenominational, each church has had to deal with burnout in some way with its staff. Empowerment allows you to take some things off your plate, whether you give them to a volunteer or paid staff person on your team, and you don't have to worry about it.

Working on this helps with staff and volunteer longevity. A true leader will not stay long, if all they do are a bunch of tasks each week. Whether they're a volunteer or paid staff member, they are going to move on sooner or later to something more challenging something where they can create their own system or process and put it in place.

If you can utilize the power of empowerment in your ministry to help you develop more leaders, imagine what the possibilities are for impacting the kingdom.

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