We could look at Jesus’ earthly ministry and draw a number of conclusions about delegating. Here, however, we want to primarily learn lessons about delegation from Jesus’ Great Commission right before He ascended to heaven.
Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matt. 28:18-20)
Lessons about Delegation from Jesus, the Master Delegator, Seen in the Great Commission
If we want to master any kind of skill, we need to look to the Master Himself of anything and everything pertaining to leadership, teaching, and all else. As the Master Delegator, Jesus did the following:
1) Jesus laid the groundwork for delegating.
Prior to giving the Great Commission Jesus had spent three years with His disciples teaching and demonstrating discipleship. From the start Jesus made the long range goal clear in calling them to be fishers of men (Matt. 4:19). Their time with Him prepared them for the big assignment to come when He was no longer with them, that of going and making disciples of all nations.
2) Jesus delegated what was His to give.
The Father had given Jesus all authority in heaven and earth. He didn’t need people to do His work yet valued their participation. He could do it all Himself but chose to involve them in the process.
3) Jesus provided what they needed to fulfill this responsibility.
- the commissioning (what responsibility they were given)
- the how-to (instruction)
- the on-going support (His presence – always available, always accessible)
4) Jesus didn’t micromanage.
Jesus gave the Great Commission as He was on the verge of leaving them. He entrusted them with this responsibility and then ascended back to heaven. While He provided specifics of what was involved in going and making disciples of all nations, He did not specify exact methodology and style for baptizing and teaching.
4 Elements Church Leaders Need for Effective Delegation
Based on lessons about delegation we can learn from Jesus in His Great Commission, we can see at least four elements needed to effectively delegate:
- preparation … making sure people are ready to assume the responsibility
- entrustment … truly relinquishing some of your responsibilities for them to do
- support … giving them the tools and resources they need to be successful
- freedom … allowing them to make decisions within the designated parameters