Are You a Children's Ministry Control Freak? (4 Simple Steps to Let Go)

Are you a control freak in your Children's Ministry?

If we admit it, we all are to some extent.  As we lead our ministries, our desire to bring excellence, passion, and improvement can lead to control issues.

Ownership is vital, but when it becomes unbalanced and leads to unhealthy obsession, it's time for some changes.

Here are four simple steps to loosen your grip.

1. Identify what only you can do.  
Resist the urge to lead every project or area of the ministry.  Ask yourself these questions.

  • Could someone else complete this work to an acceptable level?
  • Could someone else do part of this project?
  • Could someone else do the initial draft so I only have to review and “tweak” it?
  • Is this work keeping me from my highest value activities?
2. Defer early and often. 
Deferring is different than delegating. Delegating is handing off your responsibilities; deferring incorporates delegating, but also involves passing activities on to someone else before they ever hit your to-do list.

And don’t volunteer yourself for additional activities if you already can’t accomplish your must-do list.

If you’re used to doing it all and pride yourself on being able to figure everything out, this will feel uncomfortable at first.  Get over it.  If you don't, you will become the lid for your team getting to the next level.

Deferring tasks shows respect for others’ competency and lets you have the capacity to get done what only you can do — which is what your team really needs.

3. Create simple follow-up plans.
When you delegate or defer items,  have accountability and follow-up plans in place.  This will play a critical role in making sure the work gets done.

Plans may include regular meetings with key leaders you have given responsibility to.  It may mean setting goals and checking progress.

4. Resist taking back control.
Once you start to let go of control, inevitably there will be a time when something doesn’t get done the way that you would prefer.

Your gut reaction will be to question why you gave it away.  You'll find yourself saying,  "if you want something done right, then you have to do it yourself."

Stop.  Before you take back two things.
  • Find out what went wrong, where the break down was.
  • Evaluate and make sure you gave them the tools, knowledge, and adequate resources to do the assignment well.  
Don't let fear keep you from making what could be your greatest contribution to your Children's Ministry...letting go and focusing on what only you can do.