Decision-making in the local church is complicated by unique pressures. Before making any decision, pastors often battle questions of uncertainty that most leaders never face…
“Is this the best use of the tithes people have entrusted to us?”
“Are we sure we heard God’s voice clearly on this?”
“How will this affect our volunteers?”
It is natural for uncertainty to slow down a decision. No one wants to pay the price of a bad call. Unfortunately, in trying to avoid the damage of a poor decision, many leaders incur another set of problems that come only with slow decision-making.
In that way, slow decision-making can be just as harmful as poor decision-making.
- When leaders hesitate to invest the tithes entrusted to them, people start wondering if they’re giving to anything important. Simply put, that’s poor stewardship.
- When the fear of not hearing God clearly enough takes over, churches miss out on opportunities that He has placed right before them.
- Holding off on a decision because of what current attendees and volunteers may think creates an inward focused team that values keeping people happy more than reaching new people.
Which church would you rather pastor: The one that takes risks and applies what it learns? Or the church that waits to learn everything so no decision feels risky?
If you ever find yourself held back by uncertainty, it may be time to start making faster decisions. Consider these three paradigm shifts to help you move forward:
- Shift from A Perfection Mindset to A Progress Mindset
In decision-making, it is tempting to wait for the perfect option. Unfortunately, it rarely exists. Rather than assessing an opportunity based on whether or not it is flawless, try asking yourself, “Does this make progress?” If you have an option that is in line with your vision, don’t hesitate to execute it. Even if you fall short, you’ll still be further than you started.
Do you have an option that will generate progress?
- Shift from Piloting to Pioneering
With a focus on progress, it may be time to redefine how you create it. Many leaders seek to make progress like pilots. Before they board a plane, pilots can see exactly where they are going and plan the most direct route there. That’s not practical in visionary leadership. There is never a clear route when you’re going somewhere new. Pioneers start by taking the first step now and expect to make course corrections along the way.
What is the first step you can start taking now?
- Shift from Activity to Productivity
In ministry, you will never run short on things you could do. Most create activity that keeps you busy but isn’t truly productive. Filtering out distractions and focusing on the right things is essential if you’re going to make real progress. Otherwise, you’ll end up with “treadmill movement” — expending a lot of energy but not really going anywhere.
Which tasks on my list will create true productivity?
God has given you a vision that is too important to be slowed by hesitant decision-making. It may be time to make these paradigm shifts and get back to pursuing it.