Leaders know that delegation is essential to the development of their team and organization. Leaders know that empowering the right person to accomplish a significant task with the appropriate direction, support, and accountability allows for real and lasting impact. Leaders know that no one person has all the needed gifts to do effective ministry. So, why do some leaders refuse to entrust meaningful assignments to others?

I believe there are six reasons:

  1. An unhealthy need for control.

The need to have your fingerprint on everything in your ministry is one of the chief barriers in delegation. The fear of losing authority is a disease that sucks the life out of a team and organization.

  1.  Perfectionism.

Perfectionists hinder the development of all who serve with them. Perfectionists have to be involved in every task because no one can do it better than them (or so they think).  One writer well says, “[Being a perfectionist] will make you a very small leader and your leadership a very small thing.”[1]

  1. An unhealthy need for success.

Some leaders are afraid to delegate because they are afraid that someone will do a better job than them. Can you allow others to be more successful than you? A good leader will have many successful partners in ministry.

  1. Personal insecurity.

Insecure leaders strangle teams. You cannot lead out of fear.

  1. An inability to trust others.

If you cannot trust others, you will constantly be meddling in what you have assigned. This will cause frustration and discouragement. In most cases, your inability to trust will cause others to quit working with you.

  1. An unwillingness to invest the time.

How often have you heard, “It’s faster to do it myself.” Delegation requires an initial investment in order to enjoy the future return. Many find it easier to “do it myself.” It may be easier at first, but over the long haul, an unwillingness to make the time investment makes for a small leader with a small ministry.


[1] William Lawrence. D.Min class notes from The Ministry Leader.