It’s the middle of Easter Sunday morning celebration program; I’m waiting in the side room for the next vocal number as I am singing in the ensemble. My assistant is leading the service. An usher hurries over to tell me that a regular attendee has just come in crying because her mother has been taken by her father to the hospital that morning because of illness. What should I do; should I desert the choir group to go pray in the balcony where she is sitting and hope I get back in time? Should I stop things so I can pray aloud? No! It is a perfect opportunity to give away ministry. I quickly instruct the usher to ask our assistant pastor’s wife to go and pray with the distraught person, which she did, taking a prayer partner with her. I thanked her after service.
When we planned the service, I was wondering if I should try to start the final song even though I was to play brass for it. I’m sorry to say, I have done that kind of one-man-show thing before. No! It is another opportunity for someone else to lead. I asked our assistant worship leader to step up and lead it so I could focus on playing.
In addition, rather than try to juggle too many hats, as I have often done, I turned over Scripture readings, offerings, announcements, and morning prayer to my very capable and trained assistant. Things went more smoothly; transition time was saved; and he was up front more to be visible to younger families attending. I was able to do a better job of using my musical gifts. Win! Win!
Often leaders hinder the development of leaders under them and rob the next generation of ministry because they insist on hogging the limelight and doing every part that comes to them. How much better if they would empower others to minister and show leaders under them that their leader believes in them. As John C. Maxwell put it in a little book called The Right to Lead, “Give your power away. One of the ironies of leadership is that you become a better leader by sharing whatever power you have, not by saving it all for yourself.” It is a higher success to involve others than to do the same things all yourself. And by developing others, the kingdom’s capacity for ministry is greatly expanded.