I’m going to share 7 steps of empowerment when launching a new endeavor in ministry. Following these 7 steps will make you more efficient, give you a better outcome, and make you a better leader. These are steps that I have personally used.
1. Decide what should be delegated and why
The rule is, if someone else can do something almost as well as you, they should do it. Start with routine tasks. As the tasks become more complicated and dynamic, your volunteer/staff member has to be more competent, more reliable, must know the ministry better, and must know your heart better.
2. Identify who should be empowered and why
Volunteers/staff members who excel in their current tasks should be entrusted with more. Those who raise up leaders have shown themselves to be leaders of leaders. Those are the ones who will probably do best in new endeavors with greater responsibility. Empower them.
3. Ensure adequate resources for successfully fulfilling new tasks
Don’t set up your team to fail. If you’re putting together a team to launch a new campus, make sure the team has the equipment they need for the launch. They don’t have to be fully equipped on day one, but they need the basics!
4. Create a pilot effect
When implementing a new procedure, start with a pilot. When testing out a new kids sign-in system, we started with our Wednesday night service. Why? We had system trained volunteers, the same kids every week, attendance that was low but not too low, and plenty of hands on deck. We decided to scrap the system. Throughout that process, I realized what a good decision I made in instituting a pilot effect first. Launching the new system church-wide would have been disastrous. Looking back, the lessons I learned made that experience a win, even though we didn’t go ahead with the new endeavor!
5. Monitor implementation and outcomes
Empowering someone doesn’t mean they’re independent of authority, it just means they have authority to make decisions. Work with them on making these decisions and take their opinions very seriously. After all, if you don’t trust them, then why would you choose them for the job? Hold them accountable for their decisions and hold yourself accountable for yours.
6. Make adjustments as needed
Everyone answers to someone. You’re still the boss. It’s perfectly acceptable to check in and make corrections. Empowering doesn’t mean someone does whatever they feel like doing. If the person you’ve empowered doesn’t get that, they’re the wrong person for the job.
7. Evaluate and decide
When all is said and done, a decision must be made. Many times, deciding something is the hardest part. Pray, speak with your team, seek wise counsel, and then make a decision. The decision can be to proceed, to evaluate further, or to drop it, but a decision must be made. If the pilot program was implemented long enough and thorough enough, you probably don’t need to proceed further. You’re probably able to move forward or shut it down. Don’t be afraid to take risks, go for it, but make sure everything you do is done prayerfully and with wise counsel.
What steps do you take when launching a new endeavor?