Most people that I have known, that are leaders in childrenâ€™s ministry, have over many years taught in the classroom. And at a foundational level of their being they love children and love being around them. But they soon discover upon taking a leadership role that they are not in the classroom as much (if any).
Since one can not be in two places at the same time (administrating, dealing with â€œissues,â€ meeting guests and parents, etc. or teaching/serving in the classroom) the recent administrator may become torn. The whole reason that are in childrenâ€™s ministry is to help kids learn about God and grow in their relationship with Him, but they now find themselves in a leadership position that limits their time directly relating to kids.
Exodus 18 will help to answer our initial question.
Exodus 18:12 â€œAnd Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, brought a burnt offering and sacrifices to God; and Aaron came with all the elders of Israel to eat bread with Moses’ father-in-law before God.â€
In this passage Mosesâ€™ father-in-law comes to see what all God had been doing in Israelâ€™s life, where he discovers Moses leading the people without delegation. Moses judged between the people all day long and everyone had to wait their turn. Jethro said to Moses, â€œWhat you are doing is not good. 18 You and the people with you will certainly wear yourselves out, for the thing is too heavy for you. You are not able to do it alone.â€ Notice that this was over dinner, with Aaron and the elders of Israel. There were people there to do it, but Moses felt he needed to/had to do it all.
At some point ministry will grow beyond a person’s ability to be in two places at the same time, and things must be delegated if the ministry is to be healthy.
One must also recognize what happens when we donâ€™t delegate and administrate wisely.Â Exodus 18:18 â€œyou will certainly wear yourselves out,â€ There will be frustration, peopleâ€™s needs will not be met, there will be disorganization, and inevitable exhaustion. However when tasks areÂ shared the weight of ministry is made easier. There is a Chinese proverb that says, â€œwith many hands the load is light.â€ You have to let other â€œableâ€ people do important tasks.
Secondly, what happens when there is systematic organization? With an able leader there is forward thinking, oversight, and things do actually begin to move forward. What makes for a good leader is the subject of another article entry, but just from Exodus 18 we see that a good leader listens to the advice of godly people. Jethro was a very godly and wonderful leader. Moses did not allow pride (Numbers 12:3) and the fact that his tribe was larger than Jethroâ€™s tribe, to interfere with his ability to learn.
So can you administrate and teach? It is my opinion that you cannot do both adequately on a given Sunday morning at a typical church. You must either let someone else lead and then be an exceptional teacher, or you should delegate the task of teaching to â€œableâ€ godly people and focus your time and effort on leadership tasks.
This discussion is not so much focused on delegation, but on the larger idea of determining what your focus should be. Trying to do too much will only exhaust you and those you minister to (see Jethro’s advice to Moses). Pray and cry out for God to make your calling clear, and then march forward, handing off everything to others so that they can also partner with you in the ministry.