Summary: Jesus knew that the disciples would do their greatest work after He left them to do their ministries with the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit. Jesus said, "He who believes in Me the works that I do will he do also and greater works than these will He
How Jesus Delegated Responsibility and Authority - Acts 1:8
Illustration:Peter Drucker offers insightful guidance to the church when he calls leadership a peak performance by one who is "the trumpet that sounds a clear sound of the organizations’ goals." His five requirements for this task are amazingly reliable and useful for those who dare to lead churches:
(1) a leader works;
(2) a leader sees his assignment as responsibility rather than rank or privilege;
(3) a leader wants strong, capable, self-assured, independent associates;
(4) a leader creates human energies and vision;
(5) a leader develops followers’ trust by his own consistency and integrity.
H.B. London, Jr. and Neil B. Wiseman, Pastors at Risk, Victor Books, 1993, pp. 227-228.
1. Jesus knew that the disciples would do their greatest work after He left them to do their ministries with the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit. Jesus said, "He who believes in Me the works that I do will he do also and greater works than these will He do because I go to intercede at the right hand of my Father." (John 14:12)
Let your disciples have responsibility and the authority to trust God for greater works without having to constantly supervise or control them.
2. Jesus knew that it would be for the disciples’ benefit for Him to ascend to heaven leaving them to trust God through without constant human oversight. Jesus said, "It is for your benefit that I leave you, for after I leave I will send you the Holy Spirit, who will guide and teach you and empower you." (John 16:6) Allow the Lord to work through the gifts, callings and enabling ministry of the Holy Spirit in the lives of your disciples. Do not try to smother them with constant correction, supervision or control.
3. Jesus knew that the disciples would learn to trust the Lord best when they were given great expectations and responsibilities to fulfill in the power of the Spirit’s leading. All the disciples, except Judas, accomplished great fellowship multiplying ministries when they realized that the Lord was living in them in the powerful person of the Holy Spirit. Jesus said, "You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and to the uttermost parts of the earth." (Acts 1:8)
Help your disciples to follow the creed of William Carey, the father of modern missions, "Expect great things from God attempt great things for God."
4. Jesus expects parents to learn how to release their children to the responsibilities and authority given to them by the Holy Spirit. Only when people learn to answer directly to the Lord will they learn to grow up in all aspects in Christ. (Eph. 4:12-15)
5. Jesus expects teachers to release their students into the fields that are ripe for the harvest. Jesus told His disciples, "Look to the fields that are ripe for the harvest. My food is to do the will of Him who sent me and to accomplish His purpose." (John 4:34,35) Ask the Lord to give you the wisdom to give effective field assignments rather than just academic or theoretical assignments to your students.
6. Jesus expects Pastors to give their sheep responsibilities where they can learn how to develop their gifts by discipling others through outreaching and inreaching ministries. Ask the Lord for wisdom in creating effective evangelism and edification ministries for people throughout the congregation. Paul wrote, "Equipping the saints for the work of the ministry for the building up of the body of Christ." (Eph. 4:12)
The Lord builds us up most effectively when we are in the ministry of helping others to progress spiritually.
7. Jesus expects church administrators to be able to delegate responsibilities and authority to people throughout the church without oppressing them with complicated and excessive policies, procedures and rules. Paul wrote to the Galatians, "Now that you know God - or rather are known by God - how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable principles? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again?" (Gal 4:9,10)
Have confidence in how the Lord can use the Holy Spirit in to teach, correct, rebuke and train your leaders in the ways that are best for His kingdom and righteousness.
8. Jesus expects evangelists and church planters to learn to hand over the responsibility and authority to local church elders who meet the qualifications of Godly overseers in I Timothy 3:1-6.
Failure to learn how to let go of the controls of a church is a sure way to stifle the development of indigenous leaders. Remember that most churches go through four stages of the planting and growing of the church: