Team Development: Finding Tasks As a Means to Empowering Staff

Regardless of church size, each church has had to deal with burnout in some way with its staff. Empowerment allows you to take some things off your plate.

Team Development: Finding Tasks As a Means to Empowering Staff
When looking to build leaders, that begins by giving them the responsibility of taking care of something, what amounts to a handing over of the keys to the car. Just giving them the keys, and saying to them that they can move the car from here to the garage, but “Don’t go over 5 mph,” or “Park it forward, not backward,” or “Make sure to set the emergency brake,” will amount to becoming nothing more than just a task.
Team Development: Finding Tasks As a Means to Empowering Staff
When looking to build leaders, that begins by giving them the responsibility of taking care of something, what amounts to a handing over of the keys to the car. Just giving them the keys, and saying to them that they can move the car from here to the garage, but “Don’t go over 5 mph,” or “Park it forward, not backward,” or “Make sure to set the emergency brake,” will amount to becoming nothing more than just a task.

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If you’re like me, you tend to want to do things yourself because #1 it’s the “right way” (in your mind), and #2, because you can get it done faster by doing it yourself, while not having to teach someone.

If you are looking to create leaders, giving your staff a list of things that need to get done by the end of the week isn’t the means to achieve it.

But if your leading a team of people, and one of your jobs is to raise up leaders, then you need to practice the art of empowerment.

If you then give your staff a list of things they need to get done by the end of the week, and you say to them, “Here is how I want this done,” that’s not empowerment.

I’m not talking about giving someone a task list of things to do – I’m talking about giving them the responsibility of taking care of something, and putting the system in place so that it happens week to week.

What that amounts to is handing over the keys to the car, and letting them adjust the seat and mirrors, and drive it anyway they want. Just giving them the keys, and saying to them that they can move the car from here to the garage, but “Don’t go over 5 mph,” or “Park it forward, not backward,” or “Make sure to set the emergency brake,” will amount to becoming nothing more than just a task.

I know, that sounds scary, but again if one of your goals is to raise up leaders, then it has to be done.

Giving a person the ability to create something and have ownership of it, is developing them to think and design in an area they are passionate about. I’m not saying that giving someone a task to do is wrong, but again if your goal is to raise up leaders — and not just workers — then you need to give away a piece of your job.

Who is the right person to do that with? I will say for starters to make sure you can trust that individual who are seeking to turn into a leader, someone who has proven reliability. The last thing you want to do is empower someone who has shown a lack of responsibility.

This principle really applies to working with volunteers.

One of the tips I talk about in my “How to Keep a Volunteer for Life” seminar is truly empowering them. Let them own a piece of the ministry they are serving in. Give them a project like coming up with a better way to organize and store the raw video files.


More About Dennis Choy
Dennis Choy created and developed the church's Technical Production Department after joining the staff at North Coast Church in 1995. North Coast Church, located in Vista, Calif., currently offers 46 worship services with more than 12,000 attendees every weekend across five campuses. He also oversees the Communications, Graphics, Web, Creative Video, Social Media, Staging and IT Department. He has taught training classes at Infocomm, NAB, WFX, TFWM, NAMM and other conferences around the country and currently serves on the Board for the Church Technical Leaders Network. He resides in Oceanside, Calif. with his wife Michelle and their three children.
Get in Touch: dennis@northcoastchurch.com    More by Dennis Choy

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