Part of a series inspired by Peter Drucker, an important mentor of mine
In yesterday’s blog entry, I talked about a time early in my ministry when I realized I was trying to do too much myself instead of empowering others in the church. One of the outcomes of that realization was my making a strategic decision not to answer certain questions… because my phone was ringing all the time. Now that would probably be an inbox problem, but this was pre-email.
When I realized I was doing too much myself, I put a new structure in place with other overseers in charge of various ministry areas. The idea was to reorganize and reduce the span of care. But I found that people were still calling me whenever they wanted to know something.
Obviously, something additional needed to be done. So I decided to stop answering any questions that were not my responsibility. When people called to ask what time the prayer meeting was, I’d say, “So-and-so is now in charge of that. They’ll get you the information you need.” After about six months, the phone stopped ringing and word got around the church that Logan doesn’t know anything.
This rumor was verified one Easter Sunday when a new person came up to me in the lobby. She asked me where the Easter egg hunt was. I honestly didn’t know we were having an Easter egg hunt, so I told her I didn’t know. She laughed and said, “I asked Kim where it was and she didn’t know. So I told her ‘I’ll just ask the pastor.’ She said, ‘Oh no, don’t do that. He doesn’t know anything.’” Apparently Kim was right.
By limiting what I was directly responsible for, I was able to focus on what I was supposed to be doing and on the people I needed to be working with. Too often as church leaders, we short-circuit the process by taking on more responsibility than we need to. We keep burdening ourselves, and at the same time disempowering our people.