I’m a control freak. I’m an A-type personality. Usually, I’m okay with that. And for the record, chances are you’re probably a control freak, too. It’s a well-known personality trait of “communication types.” Most church administrators might call themselves “detail oriented,” but in reality, they’re type-A personalities who like to sweat the small stuff. Most communication directors like to think they’re “process oriented” but that’s just code for they “can’t leave anything to chance.”
The problem is: It’s not healthy to control everything. Paul talks to the believers at Corinth about unity and diversity within the church. He addresses this unified, and yet diverse group as the “body of Christ.” You know what that means? The Church is not a one-man (or woman) show. As Christians, we’re meant to rely on each other in all we do.
Know Your Weaknesses
Face it: It’s not possible to be “the expert” at everything. When we try to control everything, our weaknesses actually become more obvious—and sometimes this can lead to more failure than necessary. But when you know which skills and talents you struggle with, you can find people who have those strengths and surround yourself with them. It’s okay to have people on your team who are better than you at one or even more skillsets. In fact, great leaders hire people who are better than them at the specific role they’re hiring for.
Build a Team
Controlling every detail means you’re probably carrying a pretty big burden. You don’t need to. When you stop controlling everything, you free yourself up to build a team of people who can help you complete the project, or just communicate better in the long run. Pick your adage:
- “More hands make light work.”
- “Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much”
- “None of us is as smart as all of us.”
- And of course, Galatians 6:2, "Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”
The Great Commission is Worth It
In communication, we’re helping our ministries fulfill the great commission. We’re making it easier for each person in the church to make disciples of Jesus. Jesus invites us to take part his Great Commission. Likewise, you should invite others to take part in your small section of The Church’s mission. Sometimes that means that the quality of every promotion, campaign, or bulletin announcement may not be to your standards. Sometimes people will fail you. But most of the time, your willingness to delegate will allow for more ministry to be done, better, by the people whose heart is passionate about the work. Sometimes, you may think “I should just do this myself.” But don’t. Instead, use that design piece with Comic Sans as an opportunity to teach a volunteer about basic typography. Or use the moment when someone doesn’t show up as a teaching opportunity about their role in the vision of the church.
The bottom line: I’m not as awesome as I’d like to think I am. And neither are you. Good thing it’s not about us.