Confident-man-pointing-finger-leader-smallEmpowering other people on the team to be leaders—delegation—is critical to a successful church or organization. Every leader talks about delegation, but few truly empower others to be leaders.

It’s a frustration I hear frequently from staff members of churches.

Frankly, as one with a strength (StrengthFinders) of command, I can easily take over if no one else takes the lead. It takes discipline as a leader, but I want to create an environment of healthy empowerment. I want to lead a church that produces leaders.

But how do you know whether healthy empowerment is occurring? I don’t know that we can follow a script, but perhaps there are some principles that need to be in place that can help ensure we create cultures conducive to empowerment.

Here are seven signs of healthy empowerment (written from the perspective of those being empowered—"you" being the one empowering.)

1. Confidence is conveyed. They know you believe they can do the job.

2. Expectations are clearly communicated. They know what a "win" looks like in your eyes and what is required of them to complete the task.

3. Authority has been granted. They have the power to script the path to accomplishment.

4. Permission to fail is assured. They know if it doesn’t work they will be encouraged to try again.

5. Resources are adequate. They have the training, tools and people to accomplish the task.

6. Back is protected. They know their decisions will be backed by senior leadership—by you.

7. Recognition is shared. They know they won’t do all the work for someone else—you—to get the credit.

Consider your system of delegation. How are you doing?

Ron Edmondson is a pastor at Immanuel Baptist Church in Lexington, Ky. He is also a church leadership consultant who is passionate about planting churches, helping established churches thrive and assisting pastors and those in ministry think through leadership, strategy and life. Prior to ministry, Ron had more than 20 years of business experience, mostly as a self-employed business owner. Follow Ron on Facebook, Twitter, and his blog at

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