Do you ever find yourself staring down a “to do” list that’s a mile long? Ever feel like there simply aren’t enough hours in the day? Have you ever started the day with the best intentions in the world to get a lot accomplished only to look at the clock at 8:00pm and realize that you didn’t even make a dent? Does it feel like you need a small army to get everything accomplished that you need to get done?
Perhaps you do…but the only way to ever get the help you need is to ask. Unfortunately, for some of us, asking is hard but as a leader, it’s something we have to do if we ever want to be truly effective.
I used to struggle with the idea of asking people for help; after all, I didn’t want to burden them. My mindset was this:
“The volunteers I lead are busy people, they have jobs and families…their time is premium and who am I to ask them to give away this precious and limited resource?”
Fortunately, I realized I had it all wrong. In fact, one day I had an epiphany that not only should I ask people to help…but God desires for us to ask people to help. As I was reading my Bible, it was as if Ephesians 4:11-12 jumped off the page:
V11 Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. V12 Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ. NLT
As I read these verses, I realized that as a leader my responsibility was to help God’s people do the work of HIS ministry. My primary focus needed to shift from being so task-focused to identifying the gifts of the volunteers under my oversight and then to train, equip, coach and mentor them. Once that was accomplished, they could be empowered and released to advance the Kingdom.
With these things in mind, I flipped a switch in my heart and made the commitment from that point forward that I would never again rob God’s people from the opportunity to discover their gifts and talents and use them for His ministry. As a result, my leadership quotient went to a whole new level. I found myself less stressed, more fulfilled, leading a team of motivated, inspired and happy volunteers.
So leader, what are you waiting for? Step up to the plate and just ask.