Giving Up Control in Leadership


How do you balance your responsibility as a leader with giving control to God?

I always love Easter Sunday at church. I expect to be caught up in worshipping God for the gift of Jesus and his death and resurrection. I don’t expect him to speak to me about an area where I’m “stuck” in my leadership, but that’s exactly what he did this past Sunday.

My pastor was talking about Mary at the tomb, and the fact that she didn’t recognize Jesus at first. Could it be that she was so caught up in seeing things through her own lens that she couldn’t see God’s bigger picture? She was grieved by Christ’s death and was coming to prepare a dead body for burial. She had no place in her mind to take in a resurrected Lord.

Then my pastor went on to say that the crux of the Easter message is that we need to surrender control of the way we think things should be in order to enter God’s bigger plan. There were even white strips of cloth on every chair to symbolize the white flag of surrender. Of course I wasn’t thinking about myself, but kept praying, “This is such a cool symbol for people who don’t know you yet. Lord, I pray they understand and see you....”

At the end of the message, we all took time to sit before Jesus and ask him to speak to us about an area of our life where we need to surrender control. So I asked him, not expecting to hear much, but I felt in my spirit an immediate answer: “Surrender control of Caris.” I’ve been leading this organization for five years now, so I know that God is really the one in control. I’ve seen too many miracles and things happen that were way beyond anything I could orchestrate. I’ve taken huge steps in my faith journey.

But I sensed God gently saying that I haven’t been acting like he is really the one in control. We’ve been walking through an intense season of growth, challenges and setbacks. I love the growth, but I wasn’t prepared for all the challenges and setbacks. This didn’t fit my view of what it should look like when I’m following God trying to lead an organization. And I’ll be the first one to admit that I have been stressed, confused, and grumpy. I sat there Easter Sunday morning and admitted that I’m tired of trying to lead like this. I need a new way to understand what it means to allow God to be in control of Caris.

So when we were asked to do so, I was one of the first people walking to the front to tie my white strip of cloth on the wooden cross. And I asked Jesus to show me in a fresh way how to continually surrender control to him. It’s only been two days, but I started by carving out three hours of my Monday morning to spend time with him, asking him to guide me and laying all these big needs before him. I’m writing this blog as a sort of memorial to myself, to remind me to stop and do this much more often. I believe that if I do this, many more good things will happen at Caris than I could ever orchestrate, and I’ll be a much nicer leader to be around.

How about you? How do you balance your responsibility as a leader with giving control to God?

Written by Angie Weszely
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