Novice mountain bikers grab the handle bars tightly. They believe it will give them more control over the bike. What it actually gives them is a rough ride—there’s no room for the bounce. A looser grip on the handle bars allows room for the bike to bounce without jarring your body. And counter-intuitively, a loose grip gives you more effective control, not less. If you trust the bike, it’ll tend to go in the right direction.

Church planters often have a very hard time trusting the bike. We believe we need to control everything for the ride to go well, when the opposite is actually the case. The less we can directly control, the smoother the ride will be. We need to trust other leaders, trust the Body of Christ, and trust the Holy Spirit to lead. We may be the planter and we may be called to lead our church, but it’s still a cooperative venture.

One important caveat:  Leadership is still required; a loose grip is not the same thing as no grip. “Look, mom—no hands!” never ends well.