Saturday, January 26, 2013

Delegating Discipleship

Discipleship Compass image from BlogSpot here

This article is adapted from “Outsourcing Discipleship and Ministry” from  You can read the article in its entirety here.

Service based businesses that focus on the delegation and outsourcing of ministry related management and administration are emerging. These organizations serve the church as well as non-profits. These businesses provide outsourcing services of administrative duties so churches, non-profits and other organizations can focus on their mission, unencumbered by managerial tasks. In theory, these services provide the church more time to do ministry and to keep the main thing the main thing.

Outsourcing and the church is an interesting concept, and it can be challenging to think about and to consider all the dynamics. At first glance, this seems like a good idea, but there are many facets to this, negative implications, and complications, with outsourcing church work. Some implications could be becoming detached from the organizational structure and people and over-dependence on outside resources rather than the church body and the power of God through His Holy Spirit.

In 1 Peter 5:2-4, Peter says, "Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly; nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock; and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away." Our motivation in ministry and discipleship is serving Jesus, the good shepherd, in His example as shepherds.

Paul warns us in Ephesians 4:1-3 "to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace."

Obedience to a sometimes difficult and demanding call to make disciples can leave us tired and wanting to delegate or outsource to someone else. We must resist this temptation and walk worthy of our call by the power of the Holy Spirit, with lowliness, gentleness and longsuffering as we bear with one another in love.

Here are some questions to think about as disciplers when we are considering delegating or outsourcing:

1. Is this outsourcing ministry or discipleship for which I am responsible?
2. Does delegating this task neglect what God has specifically called me to do?
3. Is this outsourcing or delegation best for the church, for the community and for making disciples in the world?
4. Am I passing this task off to avoid a hard but necessary conversation or interaction?
5. Is outsourcing this helping me to avoid a difficult person or situation I know God has given as my ministry responsibility?
6. Am I being lazy by delegating?
7. Is outsourcing this ministry good stewardship?
8. Does outsourcing or delegating this task glorify God?
9. Is outsourcing this responsibility the best possible solution?
10. By delegating, am I abdicating what is clearly in my job description?

As disciplers, we should be intentional and prayerful about how we minister to others and make disciples. We should seek to honor God in all we do and do everything with excellence to God's glory. Let’s do this. Let’s live up to our callings and not forsake them by outsourcing them, selling them out or giving them away.

Would we make disciples of Jesus boldly and powerfully, reaching the world for Jesus, acknowledging His own promise to us in Acts 1:8, "But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth."

This article is adapted from “Outsourcing Discipleship and Ministry” from  You can read the article in its entirety here.

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