Spell out the consequences… clearly and with examples

One of the common ways which those of us in christian leadership fail is in our communication. We communicate ideas and big pictures of things that are clear in our head, however… our hearers only get a fuzzy idea of what we’re saying.

One of the ways to improve anything you’re communicating is by spelling out some of the potential consequences. For example:

“I’d like you to join our kids team… you’re going to miss-out on Sunday sleep-ins ’till 10am for the rest of the year.”

“I’m glad you’ve repented of this sin… you’re going to need to tell James and say sorry to him too.”

“This is going to be a big responsibility… I need to make clear that if you fall into gross sin or ignore your responsibilities, it will damage a lot of people’s trust and there might be cause for public rebuke.”

Put yourself in their shoes, and imagine the the things they’re going to experience… make it clear because it’s your vision about their life.

Outline the consequenses

Sometimes when we delegate, we can be tempted to only focus on the positives. e.g. How great it could be! These cool things will happen! etc.

But an important part of coming to one mind as you hand over responsibility is outlining the consequences. e.g. If you don’t get this done on time, lets think about what’ going to happen. Or, If you fall into sin and don’t repent, there will be the potential of public rebuke. Or, If you don’t call these 3 people regularly, they could very well feel abandoned and leave church, and/or Christianity.

It’s not a fun conversation to have. But the fact is you already have an idea what the consequences are; positive and negative. You know what’s at stake, and how many other things rely on this project.

If you don’t talk through the consequences, then you’re not being clear with people on the importance of the role, and you’re not helping them take ownership of it – warts and all.

If they can’t handle the warts, don’t give it to them at all.