Have you ever handed off a project to a kids ministry volunteer with little to no instruction? Do you delegate duties on a volunteer simply because they are willing?
There is a difference between delegating and dumping. Handing off projects to another person without providing clear details and direction might feel like delegation, but it is in reality just dumping duties on a willing volunteer. Handing off projects without extreme detail, vision, and coaching is in essence pulling up a large dump truck and offloading a volume of tasks upon an unsuspecting, willing participant. Are you in the practice of dumping duties or truly delegating to your volunteers?
Delegation must include direction and details in order for a volunteer to succeed. The how and the why of the task needs to be explained. Does an individual know the ethic and value upon which your ministry runs? Does your volunteer know the rationale and reasoning behind why this task is important, not just how to execute their assigned task?
If you want to create a long-term relationship with individuals who will execute large tasks for you, it is going to come down to your ability to provide details for delegation rather than dumping. True delegation involves relationship, providing a systematic pathway and process by which this individual can complete tasks.
Years ago, I read a book about having a virtual assistant. This individual could live a world away but perform tasks for you with only digital instructions to guide them. This book spent an inordinate amount of time explaining how the success of your virtual assistant is going to be in direct relation to the amount of detail you provide for them. The likelihood of talking to a virtual assistant on the phone or seeing them face-to-face is very low, so tons of details need to be provided to help them understand what is being asked of them.
Whether you are working with a volunteer a world away, or one right next door to you, your ability to hand them detailed and descriptive directions for the tasks you want them to carry out is vital (not to mention courteous).
Don’t dump on your volunteers. Help them succeed by giving them clear direction. Take an extra 30-45 minutes and articulate the details, direction, and description of what you need done and why. You will be grateful that you did.
First published on KidMinScience.com. Used by permission.