PROBLEM: When I first got in children’s ministry as a paid staff member at a church I ran into a challenge that I didn’t anticipate going in regarding how I handle my ministry responsibilities.
I held a posture of ownership and thought that if I didn’t do ALL of the work then it would either not get done right and/or my leadership would think I was just trying to pawn it off on others. I needed to have control over everything!
I attended every meeting (during and after normal hours), I assigned myself responsibility for all kinds of things whether I had the time or not and I placed expectations on things that I didn’t believe that anyone else could possibly meet.
After all, I was the paid staff leader over the ministry and I did not want to appear “incapable” of handling my ministry!
THE RESULT OF MY PROBLEM: Eventually after a few years of this pace and in the process having children, some things started to come to a head and take its toll on my personal life.
My wife and I (who also worked for the church) confused Church for Work and vice-versa and we often made the church our idol and priority over marriage and family. Very easy to do this in ministry!
I could write a book about the emotional, physical, spiritual and psychological effects that bad prioritization had on us but to sum it up – it was not God-Honoring.
THE SOLUTION: Eventually by necessity and good counsel I eventually started to embrace the notion that perhaps someone else besides me can do “my job” as well or maybe even better then myself.
What if I started to give “my job” away to others? Would that really mean I’m incapable of doing “my job” or would it mean that I’m simply turning “my job” into an “opportunity” and allowing others to take on this opportunity.
Perhaps this would allow God to work through them with their unique gifts and talents and who knows maybe become someone who would want to lead the effort to make sure that this opportunity gets accomplished week to week and do a better job than me?
There is no question that giving ministry away to others is by far the best way to accomplish the "work of ministry" but remember this “inspect what you expect” and keep an eye on things. When you give your ministry away to others you also must be willing to invest your time into the ones that you give it away to. They are an extension of you so lead and shepherd them – that’s your real job!
In short, in regards to sharing your ministry with willing and capable other people in your church, I will quote the great theological giants The Red Hot Chili Peppers – it’s time to Give it Away, Give it Away, Give it Away, Give it Away Now!
Now you have that song in your head! You can thank me later!