5 Things You Control as a Leader


As a leader in a new organization or a church plant, realize that the less you control, the more you can allow others to lead.

Recently, I was talking to a church planter. He was asking questions about the initial days of a church plant.

Then he asked me a great question...

What things did you try to control and which did you release to others?

Love that question. Not sure I’d ever had it before, at least that directly, in terms of church planting.

I gave the first answer that came to me: The only leadership lid you will ever create is whatever area you choose to control.

It came out quickly, but I still liked and agreed with my answer. I then realized, as much as I love delegation, there are some things I felt the need to control. I expanded our conversation to include a few things I do control…or at least have a major impact upon: (Some of these came to me after the conversation ended)

  • Vision – Senior leadership should make sure the vision of the organization is maintained.
  • Staff culture – Senior leadership, especially in the early days, plays a primary role in setting the morale, approach to structure and formation of the DNA of the organization.
  • The organization’s pursuit of excellence – People will never push for more excellence than the level expected, led, and lived by senior leadership.
  • The moral value of the organization - The character and integrity of the organization will reflect senior leadership. Period.
  • The velocity of change – Senior leadership sets the speed that change and innovation is welcome in the organization.

As a leader, especially in a new organization (church plant), I realize the less I control, the more I can allow others to lead. The result is a healthier, happier organization that is more prone for growth. There are things, such as the above that, by default and for their importance, senior leadership should control. If control seems too harsh a word, choose another, but these should not be delegated too far beyond the ability to guide them.


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