Believe it or not, I am not normally a confident decision-maker. Being faced with a challenging decision that has no clear, certain path can put my already anxious mind in the red zone. And yet, decisions are a part of my everyday life and my role as a pastor and leader in a congregation. The Lord has a way of putting us in places that require faith and promote growth. Major decision-making has been such a place for me over the years.
So, what have I learned about making decisions in my life and at Grace Community Church?
God will not orchestrate events in my life that do not require faith.
I cannot avoid making hard decisions if I want to grow in faith. I must accept that God is calling me to maturity through the process of decision-making.
I must seek God, his glory, and the good of others in order to make a good decision.
My motive really does matter. This means that I must pray. At the beginning of any decision, I need to stop, bow, and be honest with myself about what is driving me at that moment. Is it fear or pride? Am I trying to escape a responsibility or a hard task? Am I angry? These and other questions need to be asked and answered with confession and repentance before I can proceed with the clarity needed to make a good decision for the glory of God.
I must listen and learn from others.
Trusting the Lord does not mean ignoring others. Most, if not all, of the major decisions I have made in my life and my leadership have included wise counsel from smart people. An independent spirit is closed off from others and can be more concerned about making a point than making a good decision. An open ear and mind can be a blessing, leading to new ways of thinking and better decision making.
I must have my mind shaped by God’s word.
Knowing the Bible and interpreting it correctly helps me know what decisions are a matter of direct obedience to God or a matter of wisdom in a situation with multiple good options. Understanding the truth of God’s word helps me spot and avoid opportunities to make bad decisions that will bring harm.
I must make decisions.
If I make a decision that brings challenges and difficulties, I can always reconsider it and possibly make another one. If I can’t, and I must live with the challenges that come with a decision, God will give me grace to do so. I can trust that God will cause all things to work together for good, because I love him and he has called me for his purposes.
Today, I have had the opportunity to help our church leadership make the decision about gathering to worship on Sunday. We have accepted our God-given calling to be decision-makers. We are praying, checking our motives, and seeking God’s glory and the good of others. We are listening to the medical community, our government officials, and our church staff as they advise us concerning the health and logistical issues related to gatherings and the spread of the coronavirus. We are confident that our decision to forego gathering this Sunday does not violate the Bible’s general command to gather for worship. Using this process, we have made the decision to cancel Sunday services this week.
This is today’s decision. One thing we know, there will be other decisions each day and each week. God will give us wisdom. In his wisdom, he will use our decisions for his purposes and glory. We can trust him.
I hope this helps you as you face the decisions in your life.