October 4, 2016 Ryan Stigile

Why I’d Rather Be Wrong Than Wait To Be Right

I’ve noticed a common trait among many pastors and leaders. I’m no exception. Every one of us wants to be right.
We don’t want to waste others' time making up for our mistakes. We’d rather not disappoint our staff, elders, and congregation. And we certainly don’t want to send our churches racing toward the wrong target. So when it comes to setting vision, we often take our time to ensure it is bold enough but not unreasonable. When it comes to clarifying our strategy, we consider every option and then create a few more, all in hopes of not missing the “right” answer.

I’ve noticed a common trait among many pastors and leaders. I’m no exception. Every one of us wants to be right.

We don’t want to waste others’ time making up for our mistakes. We’d rather not disappoint our staff, elders, and congregation. And we certainly don’t want to send our churches racing toward the wrong target. So when it comes to setting vision, we often take our time to ensure it is bold enough but not unreasonable. When it comes to clarifying our strategy, we consider every option and then create a few more, all in hopes of not missing the “right” answer.

All of this effort and thought is intended to protect our churches from our own wrong decisions. Unfortunately, in our attempts to lead correctly, we end up doing something worse than being wrong:

We end up doing nothing at all.

Without a clear mission, vision, and strategy, a church generates much activity that yields little to no progress. People stay busy maintaining too many ministries that have little impact. Eventually, and often too late, leaders realize they are stuck.

A ministry team can survive incorrectness. It cannot survive unclarity.

Consider these differences between being wrong vs waiting to be right:

When You’re Wrong and Clear: While You’re Waiting to Be Right:
  1. Everyone understands what is expected of them.
  2. Action is taken.
  3. Mistakes are made.
  4. Learning is applied to future plans.
  5. Progress is made.
  6. The mission is still accomplished.
  1. People are guessing at what is expected of them.
  2. Action is taken. Second-guessed. Paused. Disjointed.
  3. Mistakes are never made as people are too afraid to try.
  4. Nothing is learned.
  5. Progress is a dream.
  6. Feelings of frustration overshadow the mission.

 

Don’t get me wrong. It’s critical to take time to seek God and fully analyze a situation. I’m all for detailed planning and wise decision-making. But at some point, a focus on making the right decision can turn into a fear of making the wrong decision. Any time we lead from fear, we set our churches up for failure.

Has the fear of being wrong kept you from charting a clear path forward?

Having been in and around ministry all my life, I understand that clear direction doesn’t just come out of nowhere. If you find yourself unsure of where God is calling your church next, here are a few places to start:

  1. Seek the voice of God.

If the vision God gave you has become a distant memory, it’s probably time to get away with Him again. Create space to let God speak into your heart about where He wants to lead you and your church. Clear direction always begins with His calling.

  1. Seek multiple voices from within your team.

Developing clear direction should not be a one-man, “Moses on the mountain” endeavor. The body of Christ was designed with a variety of gifts, each of which brings value to the planning process. Engage the leaders on your team in the process of seeking God and clarify the way forward together.

  1. Engage a fresh voice from outside your team.

When a church is stuck, it often needs new perspective to see and set a new direction. That’s what The Unstuck Group’s process is all about. We facilitate conversations with your leadership team to create clarity around the following:

  1. The core issues holding you back
  2. The strategy required for you to move forward
  3. The staff structure you’ll need to be twice your size
  4. The steps to take along the way through ongoing coaching

If we can help, we’d love to start a conversation.

In the meantime, take a moment to ask, “Am I more concerned about being right or leading with clarity?” Then pull your team together to chart a clear path forward.

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Ryan Stigile

Ryan Stigile

Ryan Stigile serves as the Executive Pastor of Rock Bridge Community Church, a 5-campus church with campuses in Georgia and Tennessee. Previously, as Director of Expansion at NewPointe Community Church (NE Ohio), Ryan led the launch and development of new multisite campuses. With Mount Paran Church (Atlanta, GA), he guided the leadership team through a strategic change initiative to simplify and align its ministries. Ryan has a Master of Business Administration from Kennesaw State University and degrees in business administration and discipleship ministry from Lee University. He lives in Dalton, GA with his wife Emily and their daughter, Addison.
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