Never Delegate This!
Back in October our church family experienced a tragic loss. Bruce Edwards, who had served on the pastoral team at APC, died because of a swimming accident. He was hit by a wave in the ocean and banged his head off of the ground, which left him damaged his neck and his head. After about 10 days in the hospital, Bruce passed.
Since that time, our church family has felt the impact of his loss in so many ways.
I have come to realize that many ways in which Bruce added value to people’s lives – just through the simple acts of listening to people, loving them, and extravagantly encouraging them. He was an amazing man and his legacy is something that many of us are aspiring to grab and live.
The gap left by Bruce for me is personal, relational, and functional. I miss him as a friend. We miss his gifting, his humor, and his personality as a church. The job he was doing, I am temporarily having to fill until we can make a transition to someone new.
Seeing the impact he made on people and needing to get back into some of the details he was managing – has made me re-learn some important truths. There are some things that you can delegate – tasks, roles, projects, assignments.
Other things can never be delegated. They must always be executed on a personal level and then based on our example, we ask people to follow us and do likewise.
#1 – HOSPITALITY
Kindness is never something that we can ask someone else to do for us. We create a culture around us by the degree to which we welcome people into our lives. You may not be a natural ‘people-person’ but you can never delegate away the need to love and encourage others.
#2 – DISCIPLESHIP
The apostle Paul always traveled with some young understudies. He raised up leaders and reproduced himself in others. He delegated off assignments. Timothy (his son in the faith) was sent to pastor the church in Ephesus. Paul instructed Timothy in 2Tim 2:2 – ‘the things you have seen and heard from me entrust them to faithful men who will be able to teach others.’
Paul expected Timothy to disciple others. But when Timothy was sent to a new assignment, Paul then added to his own life a new young leader in whom he would pour his life.
#3 – PRAYER
It’s great to raise up intercessors who will pray for the church and it’s mission. But a spiritual leader can never expect others to spend the necessary time in the presence of God for him/her.
#4 – SOUL WINNING
Asking people to invite people to church and/or share their faith is an important part of leading the church. But you can never expect others to do what you never do. Building relationships with unchurched people and sharing Christ with them is where evangelism begins.
#5 – CARE
In a church the size of APC we have to have an army of people who are committed to follow-up, visitation, and compassion. But the army that is mobilized can never replace my own efforts to love people during moments of crisis. It’s impossible for one person to care for everyone. But it is unhealthy to be disengaged and fail to care for anyone.