Today we’re going to talk about why it is important to attend your very own events. Now that sounds like common logic. Who in their right mind would plan an event but they themselves not attend the event that they have planned?
But ministry is so complex and there are times where so much is going on. You may have worked so hard at planning and preparing the event, that you are tempted to not be fully present for the event.
Building a Team
I served at a rather large church and in order to survive I had to be very adept at delegation. In ministry, if you don’t delegate, you’re going to die. You have to create a team around you to help pull off all of these various events and various ministries you have under your watch. In the process of delegating, I would build a team. I would pour into them relationally. I would pour into them experientially and give them all the tools that they would need. I built such great systems that I literally could have chosen not to actually be present at the event because I knew everything was going to go smoothly.
Now, I have to push pause and say that there once was a leader that I watched who felt that great leadership was working himself out of a job. At face value, I agree. However, for a number of years I watched this leader at one of the largest events at church. He would show up late, kind of be the grand poo-bah, stand around, and then leave early before all of the tasks were finished. Now these individuals who had been delegated to began to grow a deep sense of resentment towards this individual. Why?
Well, it’s simple. A lot of people in ministry say they don’t know what I do. They think that my job consists of Sunday morning. There is so much more that we do in ministry. The challenge is that since they don’t know what we do, when we don’t show up at an event, people wonder “what do they do? why are we paying them?”
First and Last
It is a really tricky balance. Even if I have delegated, I need to be that leader who is present at the very beginning and is present as the last chair is put up and the last piece of popcorn is vacuumed. My role may be to encourage, inspire, and pat people on the back. But my absence is going to be noticed far more than my presence.
Every one of these individuals unto whom I have delegated have a 40-hour a week job, they have families, they have obligations, a yard to mow and dinner to cook. I need to understand that these individuals are sacrificing to be a part of a team. If their leader is missing-in-action, and their leader feels that they are too busy to be a part of the event that these people are helping them pull off, that is the greatest fail a leader can provide. People are going to feel resentful, angry and see you as less than a leader.
Ministry leaders have to find a reprieve. You can find a reprieve — just don’t have it be by missing your own events.
At the end of the day, be present at your own ministry events.