How to Delegate as a Leader

As a leader, you are responsible for organizing and arranging an overall project or task. You must delegate tasks effectively to keep yourself free for the planning and logistical problems that may arise.

Chris Holland
June 22, 2022
Kids Ministry Leadership

Knowing how to delegate tasks effectively requires many different skills, like understanding each person’s availability, strong communication, optimal organization, and so much more.

Keep reading for our top tips on how to delegate responsibility as a leader.

Why Leaders Don’t Delegate

Leader working alone

All leaders know they need to delegate tasks to manage effectively, but many still struggle to do it. This often comes from the belief that ultimately, they could do it better. While this might be true sometimes, psychological processes like the self-enhancement effect restrict the training of a new person.

Instead, leaders tend to quickly do the job themselves rather than taking the time to explain it thoroughly to someone else. While this is a short-term fix, it occupies valuable time that would be more useful elsewhere. Until a leader learns to delegate tasks, they will be overworked and risk burnout.

Knowing What to Delegate

Delegating to employee

The first step when delegating tasks is knowing which to reassign. You can't delegate every job, as there will always be some tasks that require your unique expertise and experience. So make sure you stick to the tasks that need you, whether it's a church volunteer performance review or a kids’ ministry meeting. 

Think about the everyday tasks you complete that are time-consuming. Would delegating this task to someone else free up valuable space in your day? Is there someone on your team who would feel empowered to thrive in this position? If the answer is yes, it is time to reassign.

Pick the Right Person for the Job

Thumb up on a good job

Having a deep knowledge and understanding of each worker's skills is vital. Make an informed decision based on their availability and experience to ensure that they aren’t overwhelmed by this new task on their schedule. Randomly delegating tasks can cause conflict and stress within your ministry.

When done correctly, delegating a task should offer a new opportunity to your worker. Play to their skills and what they prefer, so if it’s a team task, don’t load it on someone who prefers working alone. Make them feel happy to receive this new task by highlighting that you chose them for their abilities. Explain why they are a good fit.

Outline the Task and Expectations

Outlining tasks

A lack of communication when delegating tasks can have horrendous results. Church leaders who expect their workers to be mind readers and do exactly what is expected of them without clarifying any details will end up with unhappy workers and a job done wrong. Write a brief, and they have something to refer back to.

When outlining the task, inspire their commitment by making their role clear and concise. This will encourage your team members to feel excitement at the job ahead and give their all when doing it. Workers can either feel annoyed at a new task or honored, so tell them why you think they are perfect for it.

Engage at the Right Level

Team collaborating

A team of lost and confused church volunteers is one of the tell-tale signs of bad church leadership. If you find yourself assigning tasks but then disappearing to work independently, you are not providing the guidance your workers need. On the other hand, being too involved and micromanaging can cause frustration.

Finding the balance between not supporting your workers enough and taking the reins too strongly requires skill and practice. So if you don’t get there immediately, don’t worry. One way to show up for your workers as they need it is by asking them directly. Communication is essential, so let them tell you what they want.

Regularly Check In

Checking in with coworker

At least at the beginning, checking in with how your workers are feeling and if they are managing their workload is essential. Knowing how to be a good team leader means knowing how to care for your volunteers and employees by putting their well-being first.

Set up meetings to discuss how your church workers are doing to ensure no one gets left behind. An effective way to stay in the loop is by assigning sub-leaders to be the point of call for any issues. That way, your team meetings can include fewer people. You can rely on them to relay any personal problems or logistical issues.

Establish Boundaries When Needed

Leader setting boundaries with coworker

Navigating all the church leadership roles and responsibilities can be incredibly overwhelming. Delegating effectively eases the load, but it can also cause more problems. From volunteers contacting you constantly with endless questions to a member of the congregation who needs a helping hand, being a leader is tough.

Learn when to say no and establish healthy boundaries with your workers and congregation. When stretched too thin, it is easy to become burnt out or stressed, which can take a toll on your mental health as well as impact the smooth running of your ministry. So if a volunteer keeps asking for more help than you can offer, remember that it is OK to say no.

Knowing how to delegate as a leader will transform how you run your projects. Not only does it free up time for yourself but it also provides training and skills development opportunities for your workers. So why haven’t you started already?

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