News Articles

Move beyond dumping & delegating to developing, leadership exec says

GLORIETA, N.M. (BP)–The day Moses became a leader was the day he quit dumping and delegating and began developing other leaders, a leadership expert told college ministry leaders.

Tim Elmore, vice president of leadership development with EQUIP Ministries in Atlanta, spoke to a group of campus and college ministers during National Collegiate Week, Aug. 4-9 at LifeWay Glorieta Conference Center in New Mexico.

“Because Scripture calls us to share our ministry with the people, it is important that we understand how to do this well,” Elmore said.

Pointing out three levels of shared ministry, he said, “The first level is dumping. This is where you simply dump a task into the hands of someone. You are relieved that it is no longer your responsibility, but usually fail to understand the damage you do to that person you’ve dumped on.”

Usually people don’t allow themselves to get dumped on more than once, he said.

“A sharp person will realize he’s been dumped on and will make sure he isn’t in the same room with you anymore.”

The second level, he said, is delegating. “This is where you plan ahead and think through how you will pass on a task to someone else. No damage is done this way, but the focus is still on eliminating the task, not developing the person.”

The “ultimate way to share a ministry,” Elmore said, is the third level of developing. “You plan ahead, preparing the person to take on the task, and the focus is on the training of the person. Both you and the person win in the end.”

Using Exodus 18:17-27 as his reference, Elmore said Jethro gave Moses good advice on leadership.

He said four conclusions about leadership can be drawn from the passage:

— The people will rely on us as long as we let them.

— The leader cannot allow his agenda to be controlled by others.

— No one wins when the leader tries to do everything.

— Everyone wins when the ministry is shared.

“When Jethro said to Moses, ‘You will surely wear out, both yourself and these people who are with you, for the task is too heavy for you; you cannot do it alone,’ (NAS) he was really speaking to us, don’t you think?” Elmore asked. “When Moses heard this, it was the day he transitioned to being a leader.”

As a result of listening to Jethro, Moses changed both his way of thinking and his way of working, Elmore said.

He noted that Moses made seven major changes to become a leader:

— He became a man of prayer. In doing this, Moses saw that while he could equip others to do much of the work, he could not delegate being the representative of the people before God, Elmore said.

— He committed himself to communication. He had to clearly let the people know what they needed to do.

— He laid out the vision.

— He developed a plan.

— He selected and trained the leaders. He recognized the people who had the leadership potential and invested in them. “These men, after being prepared by Moses, could minister to the thousands of others much more effectively than Moses could have done it himself,” Elmore said.

— He released them to do lay ministry.

— He only did what they could not do. They were to bring to him only the disputes they could not handle.

Using Moses’ method, Elmore said, four steps come to light in how to transition from a minister to a leader:

— Servanthood — Do the things that others are unwilling to do.

— Modeling — Do the things that others should do.

— Equipping — Do the things that others can learn to do.

— Leading — Do the things that others cannot do.

“The Scripture tells us that as Moses transitioned to his place of leadership, the result was strength for Moses and peace for the people,” Elmore said.

“When ministers decide to become leaders, they cross an important line: They make a revolutionary decision on the way to perform their ministry,” he said. “Their value now depends mainly on what they can get done through others.”

More than 2,600 college students attended National Collegiate Week, sponsored by LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention. Next year’s event will be held at Glorieta on Aug. 2-8. It is the largest annual event hosted at the conference center.
(BP) photo posted in the BP Photo Library at http://www.bpnews.net. Photo title: DUMP ‘DUMPING.’

    About the Author

  • Polly House