Many ministries within the local church fail to thrive or even collapse altogether because the leader of that ministry is an eager doer but reluctant delegator. When there is a difficult situation or when a key person fails to show up, her first instinct is to just do the task herself. This may be a godly instinct born from a desire to serve, but it may actually prove unhelpful in the short-term and harmful in the long. The far better approach may be to delegate the task to someone else.
We tend to associate the highest godliness with the humblest service. Jesus proved his holiness when he stooped to wash the filthy feet of his disciples. He proved his submission to God when he willingly faced the unjust suffering of the cross. In both cases, it is what Jesus did that displayed his godly character. This is the heart of what Christians refer to as servant-leadership, of displaying the highest kind of leadership through the lowest acts of service.
Successful Christian churches, ministries, businesses, and organizations are dependent upon people who are willing to serve. They thrive when people humble themselves to carry out whatever tasks need to be done. The high-powered lawyer and the struggling small business owner unite when they step into the church and serve shoulder-to-shoulder to brew the coffee and mop the floors. Their actions prove them to be leaders in godly character.
We need this kind of leadership, this leading by doing. No church or other organization can last long without it. We are right to honor those who exemplify it.
But there is another kind of leadership that is equally important, though far less common. For a church or other organization to be successful, it needs doers, but it also needs delegators. It needs people whose first instinct is to do and people whose first instinct is to delegate. These are very different skills or traits of character and a thriving organization depends upon a healthy balance of both.