We shall now look at the next administrative ‘skill’, number 7, that Jesus demonstrated while feeding the 5000.
Mk 6:41 And taking the five loaves and the two fish he looked up to heaven and said a blessing and broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples to set before the people. And he divided the two fish among them all.
Not only does this verse demonstrate the exercise of faith, as discussed in the previous posting, but hidden in here is also the important principle of delegation.
Delegation may be carried out for several reasons. Maybe the task is too big or time consuming for one person to do alone. Maybe there is the need for particular skills or gifting to carry it out effectively. Both of these, and there may be others, relate to the task itself – it needs to be completed and who can best accomplish that end?
However, there is another good reason for delegation – training. How easy it is to take the attitude that if I give away a job it will not be preformed as well as if I did it myself. That may be true, if arrogant, but in taking such a stance I am denying someone else the opportunity to grow in their gift.
I find it amazing that God delegated and entrusted the advance of the Kingdom to us, His creatures. Clearly there would be no blunders if He did the job on His own! However, out of His love for us, and His desire to watch us fulfilling our potential and to enjoy our fellowship, He has delegated us to ‘go into all the world and make disciples’. In observing our successes and failures I am sure He experiences the joys and heartaches of any father watching his children grow up. But ultimately He will be able to say ‘well done’ and ‘enter into the joy of your Master’.
In Acts 6, where the welfare-dispute among the widows was threatening to delay Kingdom advance as the apostles were being distracted from their primary calling to prayer and ministry of the word, they looked for men of good reputation and with the gifts that had already commended them to the people. They then delegated the job of resolving the conflict to these men. I am certain that in so-doing these seven men, from different ethnic groups, were greatly built up and expanded in their gift, realising more of their potential.
Similarly with the disciples when Jesus handed them portions of the loaves and fish. They had recently experienced fulfilment of their faith on the just-completed ministry trip and here was another opportunity to strengthen their faith as they stood before a company of perhaps 50 or 100 people with just half a loaf or a piece of fish in their hands. The exercise of their faith and seeing it fulfilled stood them in good stead years later when confronted by people asking for healing from life-long afflictions.
What is the lesson for us? When there is either the need or the opportunity to delegate let’s do so carefully and thoughtfully, expecting that it will be for the good of the person we appoint, not just seeing it as a way of getting a job off our backs. In so doing we shall contribute to that person coming to greater maturity both in exercising his or her gift and in self-worth.
7. Delegation provides an opportunity to develop another’s gift