youth worker, youth ministry, student ministry

Cast vision – Delegate responsibility

By Doug Franklin January 19, 2010

As ministry leaders we need to think about balancing casting the vision with delegating responsibility. Somewhere we got this idea that the person with the vision does most of the work. This is not a good way to lead. Casting vision that comes from God is a job in itself. As leaders, we engage people in the mission by delegating responsibility that fit their giftedness. So this is what we want to do as leaders:
•    Communicate vision
•    Implement a people strategy
•    Execute a ministry plan.

Execution is the ability to get things done. How often have you set goals for your ministry that you did not achieve? Perhaps you thought that it didn’t matter because no one held you accountable. Execution is the difference between those that reach their goals and people who just have goals. Consider the following as you delegate:

Being the leader of a ministry often times means dealing with problems and people when things have gone wrong. It takes courage to deal with problems, but when problems are resolved, it creates high performance. Often, I am too worried about how others will feel if I correct them or demand more of them. The truth is, people want to follow a leader that makes hard decisions. When hard decisions are made, trust and faith are built in a leader’s followers. Often when we fail as leaders to make hard decisions, our followers wonder why the ministry is floundering.
Courage comes from commitment. When you are truly committed to your mission, you will be willing to do whatever it takes to move your team forward. When I have to do something I dislike, I remind myself of my commitment and how much I value my mission. This gives me courage and the will to continue.

For me, focus comes from having things in order. When I accomplish the most in my ministry, I focus on the priorities. For me it’s lists; not so much a daily list, but a list that keeps me focused on the big picture. I keep a list of the next 50 things I want to do in my ministry. I check that list weekly to add and subtract as needed. I prioritize the list based on my opportunities and this allows for God to open and close doors as He sees fit. What I want to convey to you is the importance of clearing accomplished items off the list. There is nothing like hitting the delete key and knowing that I am doing what God has placed in my heart to do.
Focus will also motivate your people. When they see you run a meeting with focus, they will understand that you have expectations and want to see things done. I go to so many meetings where I know nothing will come of the ideas shared because the leader shows no intention of following through. Focus will demonstrate to people that you are serious and desire to reach your goals.

I have come to understand that execution requires faith on my part. Faith that I am the leader God has placed in this ministry and that He will lead me. I have to also trust the same is true for my staff. Faith also helps me when I can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel and I have to rely on the basics. I know if I am committed to executing my plan, the results will follow–the hard part is sticking to the plan even when I cannot see the finish line.

Remember, balance is the key to leadership. Casting the vision and delegating go hand in hand.

About the Author

Doug Franklin

Doug Franklin is the president of LeaderTreks, an innovative leadership development organization focusing on students and youth workers. Doug and his wife, Angie, live in West Chicago, Illinois. They don’t have any kids, but they have 2 dogs that think they are children. Diesel and Penelope are Weimaraners  who never leave their side. Doug grew up in…  Read More