My five-year-old son has just taken on responsibility for feeding our kitten. This involves pouring dry cat-food from a fairly large bag into a fairly small bowl. For the time being, it also involves quite a lot of cat-food being spilled over the floor.
Jesus took his disciples from unconscious incompetence (I do not know that God can work through me), through conscious incompetence (I lack confidence that God can work through me) and conscious competence (I am growing in confidence that God can work through me), to unconscious competence (I am confident that God can work through me).
In the initial stages, delegating responsibility for something we can do perfectly well ourselves always means additional work for us. Perhaps that is why so many over-stretched church leaders don’t hand responsibility on: they can’t face an additional short-term increase in demand on them, in order to secure a longer-term win – a re-defining of their role, and a releasing of others into new roles. And if we come to see raising people up as our primary responsibility, then what this demands of us will not be additional work, but simply our work. We may discover that other things we do are additional, and unnecessary or at least less important than we thought, and give them less of our time.
What am I doing that someone else could do – perhaps better than me, given time?
What am I doing that I can train someone else in and give away?
Why aren’t I?