Confessions of a Ministry Control Freak

My first position in ministry was exhilarating for me in many different ways. One way it was exciting was I was finally being given the opportunity to see if I could really lead something successfully. I was given an assignment to redesign a complete infrastructure for a ministry and manage almost 100 people in various capacities. In hindsight I may have been prideful, but I really wanted to see if I was as good of a leader as I believed I was called to be. However, through the course of my first year I discovered in order to be successful in my responsibilities I was going to need help. This was the genesis of my journey to learn how to delegate and build teams so that I could personally be successful and share that success with others.

Ministry leaders often avoid delegation for a variety of reasons including fear of losing authority, fear assignments won’t be done right, and fear of depending on others (Finzel, 2013). The last one was my greatest one. As an independent first-born having been relatively independent since 9th grade, depending on someone else was very difficult for me, and still is. I was also faced with the fact that my unwillingness to delegate to others would limit me and, more importantly, limit those I was entrusted to lead. I recognized in order to truly be a servant leader, I was going to have to learn to delegate and empower others through a team structure (Northouse, 2013), which meant I was going to have to learn to assess actions, feelings, and learning along with performance (Van Velsor et al., 2010) while also learning humility.

What I learned was that leading teams was rewarding for me as well as the team and everyone we served.

Resources

Finzel, H. (2013). The Top Ten Mistakes Leaders Make (New edition). David C. Cook.

Northouse, P. G. (2013). Leadership: theory and practice (6th ed). Thousand Oaks: SAGE.

Van Velsor, E., McCauley, C. D., Ruderman, M. N., & Center for Creative Leadership (Eds.). (2010). The Center for Creative Leadership handbook of leadership development (3rd ed). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.


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