3 R’s In Ministry Overwhelm

What keeps you circling in overwhelm? You probably have more to do than what you can accomplish. You get sucked into the black hole of overwhelming to-do lists. How do you sort it through and get to the God-thing over the good-thing?

It helps to use the Eisenhower Decision Matrix. We get caught by putting everything in the urgent/important quadrant. Our challenge is separating things into the other three quadrants. In this blog I want to focus on the third quadrant – delegate.

I have led ministry teams – made up of both staff and volunteers. Delegating made sense and I seemed to find my groove. But, in this season of my leadership journey, my teams look a little different. It’s collaborators, partners, subcontractors, vendors and not employees. I have no staff! You may be in the same situation in your ministry role. You hear the word, “delegate”, and your response is to toss up your hands and say, “To who?”.

The challenge – to take the delegating skills I already possess and tweak them for this more creative delegating model. Here is three R’s that apply to a leader as a “one-person-shop” or the leader with a team.

ROLES – What is my stuff to do and what can I give away?

The Eisenhower Decision Matrix helps us sort out what others can do for us. The challenge is in finding the people to delegate to, especially if you must get creative! Where are your volunteers? Who has an expertise you need, and you can offer a trade for services? What are those things that are critical, but don’t need to be you >> what can you outsource?

RETHINK – On my list of the stuff I “have” to do >> which ones REALLY do I have to do.

This is a mindset question! As we define our role we tend to hold a little too tightly on to things that other people can do – and maybe do better than we can. But, even if we are GOOD at something, should we be the one to do it? Is it time to stretch ourselves and hand it off? Is it time for us to become a mentor and train up an intern, volunteer, or teach someone else what we know? After you define the role that is yours – question yourself!! Do you REALLY need to do this?!?

RESPONSIBILITY – Delegating doesn’t mean I am not responsible for it.

I recently heard someone talk about this 10/80/10 rule for delegating. And, I love it! I want to be on the front 10% giving direction, casting vision, creating clarity over what I want to see happen. I want to give it away for the next 80% to let people smarter than me to run with it. I am still available for check in, questions, problems or the unexpected. I want to have the say-so on the last 10% to make sure that it is hitting the target, add my own personal creativity and help focus next steps.

I am learning my new way of delegating is a lot like the old way of delegating.

  • I need to define roles
  • Rethink what I really need to do
  • Own my responsibility to steward things well!

I just have to get a little more creative on my “who” for delegating. What makes delegating work for you? I would love to hear any comments below. If you are looking for some more leadership tips, download my Ultimate Leader Guide or sign up for a power call with me today.

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Annie Perdue Olson

Annie is founder of Leading Better Together, guiding leaders through the relationship and people challenges that sidetrack ministry. With 20+ years of experience in nonprofit management and pastoral ministry she equips people and teams to work better together. She holds a Master of Arts in Human Resources and Change Leadership from St. Thomas University and received her coaching certification from the Center for Coaching Excellence.

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