Releasing people from your leadership team

I have a small leadership team of four people: Ruth*, Crystal*, My wife,  and myself.

Ruth is the strongest leader.  She has started three Discovery Bible Studies and is constantly seeing people come to faith in Christ. Ruth is also a great friend.  My wife led her to Christ and I walked her down the aisle when she got married. 

When I was over at her house last week she told me that she was feeling overwhelmed. In addition to the DBS groups, she had signed up for two classes at the local Bible college and started a seven week marriage enrichment course with her husband.  Her brother and sister had just moved back into her house and her mother was coming soon from overseas.  Our pastor was willing to help her with the practical work of one of her Bible classes, but that would involve learning his discipleship methods.  And then there was our monthly leadership meetings.

While I listened, I prayed.  Ruth* is a key leader.  But she needs to focus and draw some boundaries.

"Ruth, the problems you described will just get worse as your ministry grows", I told her.

"Thanks Bob, you are a real encouragment", she replied.

But that is the truth.  As ministry grows there are so many people asking for bits of our time.  We need to learn to discern what God is calling us to do and what we should say no to.

As we looked over the list of activities Ruth is involved with we decided that the leadership meeting had to go -- at least until the Bible classes are finished.

That was a hard decision for me.  But I don't think that Ruth will forget my value: Focus on people not programs.

I received some encouraging news a few days later about another person I had released from another team ten years ago.   That too was a costly choice.  It closed down our work with a Muslim people group in our city.  The news was that he had become the Country Director of our work in a large Muslim dominated country.  What would have happened if I had not released him?

Have fun putting together your team, but hold the team members lightly, allowing God to move them where He wants.