Before getting to the main point it is important that I address a couple of potential negatives. First, there is a difference between giving up control and giving up. Giving up carries the idea of quitting. Giving up control may very well guarantee success. Second, the word “control” is a negative word. It implies manipulation, force and being on top.
So, what do I observe about giving up control?
- If I feel as if I must be in control, God is not there. If my purpose is to glorify God, then everything I do must glorify Him and that means He is in charge. That was Nebuchadnezzar’s issue in Babylon. He had to be in control. He was his own God.
- If I am in control, then I am not training leaders. As a pastor it is my job to equip others for service (Eph. 4). When I equip others for service I train them and release them to do ministry. That means I release them to make mistakes. I release them to use their ideas and thoughts. I have to trust them to do the job. If I am honest with myself, I’ll have to admit that men of God in my life had to train and release me, sometimes to make my own mistakes.
In Acts 1, Jesus released His disciples. He spent time training, encouraging and reassuring His disciples before ascending to Heaven. He released them, under the Holy Spirit’s guidance, to start His church. In essence, He released His disciples to do a job. He gave up control!
- If I am in control I am not maximizing my potential. If everything flows through me then the limits of my accomplishments are the things I can do. God has called us to impact this world. If I am a leader that reaches my greatest potential then I will train, encourage, and release others to do ministry.
These thoughts about giving up control should motivate several questions for personal growth.
- Am I secure in myself? When I must control other people or circumstances, there is a good chance I am insecure in myself? Is there a good chance that I do not trust others?
- Am I training others? If I am not training others it is natural that I feel insecure about releasing them to do what they are untrained to do.
- What is my theology about equipping others? If I see myself as the “big dog” in the hunt then I will probably be by myself.
I close with this word of encouragement. A “control freak” is never a happy person. A “control freak” may suffer from any or all of these symptoms: insecurity, overload, mistrust, limits, lonely, frustration, and exhaustion. God never intended for us to do ministry this way!