At LifeServe last week, one of the things offered were Affinity Groups, or support groups for those in similar areas of ministry. One of the affinity groups was for multi-hat leaders: those who fill more than one main ministry role. As I was talking to attendees, many of them mentioned that one of the things they liked about LifeServe was the variety of ministry areas covered. Unlike a children’s or youth ministry conference, at LifeServe we have something for everyone—and lots for the person wearing many different ministry hats.
Multi-hat leaders face some unique challenges! Still, I think there are some common strategies that can help leaders of any variety manage their ministries with greater focus and efficiency…
Here are some tips for multi-hat leaders, that can help you manage your ministry—no matter how many hats you wear!
Do the things that only you can do.
Something that has helped me manage my responsibilities, or “hats” is to define what things I need to do, and what are the things “anyone” could do. By anyone, I mean someone other than me!
If you are a youth leader and it is your responsibility to prepare a lesson or message for the youth group, then that is something you should do. However, planning the group games or snacks are things “anyone” could do. Your gift is your ability to create a meaningful message for the kids. That is the hat you shouldn’t delegate, at least not on a regular basis.
Give up the right to know everything.
As a leader, you don’t have the capacity to know everything. Trying to keep up with every minute detail will only clutter your mind and hinder your ability to do the things you need to do. You have people in place who can handle the details. Trust hem to do so, and also to communicate with you only the things that need your attention.
Ask for and expect your team to communicate with you.
It is helpful to establish in advance which types of situations or decisions you want your people to include you on. If you or you team are uncertain as to when communication is warranted, you may all end up wasting valuable time on unnecessary phone calls or emails. Rely on them to keep you informed (and tell them as much). Schedule time to touch base—this will save hours of time spent tracking down information and needless rounds of phone tag.
Define and redefine the positions and tasks that you are delegating on a regular basis.
Perhaps last year you had a volunteer who handled your website AND ran your services. But this year, someone with web experience also wants to lead a small group. Redefine roles and responsibilities as you need to, and try to stay out of a rut of having the same expectations of each volunteer based on prior volunteers. Rely on your ministry and church job descriptions to lead and train your people to take ownership in their ministry areas.
- List the things that only you can (or should) so.
- List other things you are doing. Next to each item put a name of someone who might be able to help with that item.
- Outline the types of communication you prefer, what decisions you need to be in on, what decisions you trust your team leaders to handle on their own.
- Using Outlook, iCal or Google calendar, schedule touch base meetings with these people, and your other key leaders. Arrange your schedule around these meetings as much as possible.
- Create working church job descriptions of the positions in your ministry. Plan a time in the next few months to review these with the appropriate people.
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