As we wrap up season two of Whiteboard Wednesday- We have Mike Gafa, who serves as Church Leadership Development Catalyst for Luminex, describes a concept called “The Control Continuum.”
Mike’s initial exposure to this concept was while he was teaching Franklin-Covey Time Management.
The Control Continuum represents the spectrum between things we have no control over and things we have total control over. To illustrate, since we have no control over the weather, it belongs on the bottom (no control) of the continuum. Conversely, since we have the ability to choose our attitude, it belongs near the top (total control) of the continuum.
As church leaders, the Control Continuum is essential to our understanding. Far too many leaders spend far too much time trying to control things that they can’t control, and not enough time taking control over what they can.
Between the two poles of total control and no control, there lies a vast space in between. This is the sphere of influence, and is where we function most often. Exerting appropriate leadership influence is key.
A good example of this comes from Acts 17, when Paul is in Athens, Greece. Previously, Paul had been in Thessalonica, where an angry mom was ready to put Paul to death. Paul had no ability to control this mob – he was proclaiming truth, but couldn’t control what they did with the truth. But in Athens, Paul gives a very unconventional Gospel presentation that meets the people where they are at. Paul heavily influenced the Athenian people gathered by taking the approach that he did.
When we don’t have control, we need to learn how to release control. And when we can take control, we need to do so. But most often, we need to lead by influence.
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