"But I don't do anything." I cannot tell you how many times I have said this over the last 11 years. It has been the beginning line of many fights between my husband and me. It is the root of my leadership insecurity. It is a lie that I struggle with and if not dealt with- can make me to be a very controlling and insecure leader. Not a pretty picture. I find that when I act out of this insecurity, I come across much harsher than I mean and will 'squash' my ability to empower those around me by making them feel as small as I do. As insignificant as I feel. "I do not sing- I am not on the worship team, interns usually do our welcomes and closings- offering is covered, the video announcements are done by our creative team- I guess my role is to sit on the front row and look pretty and supportive." Can I be real??? Anyone else ever thought this?
My personality is a 'do-er.' I want to get my hands dirty, know the details, be the one running around and executing the long awaited event or service. I used to hate not knowing a detail of the night and I really hated finding out that detail from someone other than my husband (the head of the ministry). My thoughts would run crazy. "Why would he not tell me? He doesn't view you as important enough to know. You are insignificant to this team." I would be to the point of tears, all over one detail. Not my proudest moments. There were times where I was that person, organizing and executing. When our ministry was smaller and just getting going; I would wear many different hats throughout the day. It was just Josh and I and maybe 5 'leaders.' But as the vision and ministry has grown, God has entrusted us with more and more people. More and more people to empower and get involved. More and more people to love and care for. More and more people to oversee their growth and development. Successfully growing a ministry means that people come and become properly fixed without crowding (Colossians 1:18-20 MSG). I believe that most ministries do not grow because they fail to empower the people they have been entrusted with.
It takes a very secure leader to 'give up' their place so that others can come and learn how to grow into it- and maybe even become better than you were at it. Five years ago, I would have hated to give up any of my service elements to a volunteer because I somehow felt threatened that I was being replaced. One of my favorite quotes is:
"To build a strong team, you must see someone else's strength as a compliment to your weakness not as a threat to your position or authority." - Christine Caine
Now a days, there is no way that Josh and I could cover a whole service with just the two of us. NO WAY JACK! It takes a lot of people, students and adults, to pull off an anointed service every week. But through all this great growth, my insecurity changed to "I don't do anything." Isn't it funny that we can pray for growth, it come, and then we whine about the growth pains that come along with it. I can pray for His blessing all day, but if I don't know how to handle it when it comes, it will not last and I will eventually lose it.
So what do you do when you feel like you have delegated every responsibility away? When you walk around trying to look busy when really you are watching everyone else getting ready. What do you do when the team of interns sitting around your table know more about the upcoming month of events than you do? Because at that moment I am presented with a choice to either feel threatened or feel complimented that others would love our ministry as much as I do. That they love it enough to give of their time, energy, resources and work to make our ministry better than it would be without them.
You see, "I don't do anything" is one of the biggest lies the enemy tells pastor's wives. Really what you do is vital for a growing ministry. You are a key piece to the frame of your church culture. You grow so they can grow. Having an empowering spirit does not just happen. It will go against every natural thought that you have. Empowerment means to 'give it away.' Everything that your team does is because it is birthed in you (the head) first. Josh and I have the idea and 'give it away' to our teams to execute. That's how we grow together and more and more people can come and find their place to grow with us. And our staff gets to utilize, develop and grow in their gift and talent. It's a win-win. Your staff will be 'happier' and less frustrated with feeling like they are not needed. We are always stronger together. Better together. See when God has you 'give it away, you are freed up to go and do the new things He has placed in your heart. If my husband's calling is at the pulpit... why would he want to waste his time and energy at the hospitality desk? Wouldn't it be better to put an organized leader at the desk who has a heart and a calling to make people feel welcomed and expected the moment they pull into our parking lot? WIN-WIN.
So never give up when ministry seems 'un-measureable.' Never allow frustration to overtake you when what you do is 'un-measureable.' What you offer to people sometimes cannot be seen- what you offer them is their chance to get planted, grow and do so that one day they will teach someone else. You see, you really do a lot. Taking on people's growth and development is a heavy undertaking, one that comes with a lot of time requirements and accountability and care. You aren't given a great team. You build a great team. What does your team say about you? Frustrated or empowered to lead and execute?
I often think about the story in the Bible where the crowd was listening to Jesus but they became hungry. (Mark 6:30-44) Jesus turned to His disciples and said, "feed the people." He could have just taken care of it Himself and it would have been amazing to watch it happen. The disciples would have never forgotten that. But Jesus had them do it instead. Can you imagine reaching your hand in your basket and passing out food without ever running out? Person after person after person. That would have changed my life because I was the one doing it- not just watching my leader do it.
We don't find great leaders-
WE BUILD THEM
THEN LET THEM LEAD.
Never underestimate what you bring to your ministry- whether you are the one delegating things away or the one being given something. Your part matters- never fall for the lie that it doesn't. So what do you do when ministry seems un-measurable? Keep giving it away and watch where God will take you. Stay the path and enjoy the journey.