Audio writer, editor, and producer Alex Blumberg is discovering that, in order for Gimlet, his podcasting company, to be successful, he needs to do less writing, editing, and producing. He needs to spend most of his time developing writers, editors, and producers.
That’s a huge shift, not without emotional consequences (as you can hear here).
I’ve heard this called “equipping” or even “discipling” in church circles, and, for pastors, it feels like a very difficult shift to initiate, much less sustain. That clergy are the “professionals,” the people called to the preaching, teaching, and caring work of ministry, exerts a tremendous pull on many of us to do most of that work ourselves. This isn’t strictly bad. Contexts and people change, and we should always be learning. For that, there is no substitute for regular, face-to-face pastoral encounters.
I would hazard that many pastors never really establish development habits and mechanisms due to guilt. We default to leading every event ourselves not because we lack confidence in others to do it, but because we don’t know how to think of ourselves and our work if we’re not in front of the congregation or the youth group all the time. We feel like slackers.
That’s not healthy.
Who are the people you are developing for the work of your ministry? Are they staff? Volunteers? And how are you developing yourself?