5 Things I Control as a Leader

Recently, I was talking to a church planter. He was asking questions about the initial days of a church plant. Since I have been involved in two church plants, and I get those questions frequently, I referred him to a few blog posts I’ve written.

17 Months to Launch

7 Things I Wouldn’t Do Again if Planting a Church

5 Lessons Learned in Church Planting

5 Characteristics Needed to be a Church Planter

We talked through some of these concepts, then he asked me another question.

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 to harsh a word, choose another, but these should not be delegated too far beyond the ability to guide them.

Make this post better:

Is there anything else you think a leader should attempt to control?

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14 thoughts on “5 Things I Control as a Leader

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  2. Is there anything else you think a leader should attempt to control?
    Some add-ons:
    ~ Strategic direction of the organization (and not tactical)
    ~ Organizational ethos and principles
    ~ Ultimate ends and objectives

  3. Ron,

    Do you think it is important that a leader control these particular things? Or will what we control vary person-to-person and situation-to-situation?

    • I think these things have to be controlled. By someone. The senior leader has a responsibility to see that they are. Some of them happen whether the leader chooses to or not.
      Twitter: Ronedmondson

  4. Question about the speed of change: As a young pastor I took over a church where, in reality, the former pastor's wife was still in charge. It took many years for all of that to shake out, thus there was not much change early on. Now, I find it hard to implement some necessary change. Is there a way to do it, or will it just have to be the slow, gradual change?
    Twitter: _brad_gilbert_

  5. Wow… this is really great stuff. This is truly something to ponder over (as a person who is planning to plant a church one day). I have been part of a church plant (not led by me), and have seen a LOT, and I look back on it and wonder: If this had been done as you said, how much different would it have been. And I can see a ginormous ripple effect from what you have said. I believe that was God-given wisdom!