Ever just want your leaders to step up and tell you what to do?
Sometimes when I am struggling with a decision or a next step I just want someone to step in and make the right decision for me. But here’s some problems with that. (And if you are a leader that people go to for direction PLEASE read on to the *)
If someone makes the decision for me:
- I will never learn how to decide things on my own. I have infantized myself by saying that they are better than me and I am not able to make quality decisions on my own.
- I will not exercise my own faith muscles but will be tagging on to their faith. (Imagine a weight lifting trainer coming alongside you and “helping” as you are doing bench presses… not much active muscle growth going on there for you.)
- I’ll be able to blame them if things don’t go the way I wanted.
- I won’t really be able to take credit if things go well.
- I will be setting up a pattern where I can not move forward until I get a green light from the leaders in my life. I may set myself up for a long wait if they don’t always agree.
The concept of including leaders in big decisions is always a good idea. However,
it is vital that you determine in advance whether you are asking for permission or perspective.
If you are asking for permission you are giving away something very precious that God gave specifically to you – your free will.
You need to decide what you are doing with your life and then live with the consequences of that choice. Then, no matter what the outcome, it’s a win as long as you keep walking with God.
Success equals an active relationship with God!
As long as you are moving forward in faith you will always be rewarded with a new understanding of something that you shouldn’t do next time (chalk it up to research) or a forward movement that would not have happened with out a faith risk.
In fact, if what you are doing doesn’t really take much faith, it may be time to ask God if your goal is big enough…
So where do the leaders come in?
Asking leaders, or any others for that matter, for perspective is always a right move.
Where there is no counsel, the people fall; But in the multitude of counselors there is safety.Proverbs 11:14
The key is that you are asking for what they see, NOT asking whether you should move forward or not.
Adults ask others for perspective.
Children ask for permission.
If you find yourself needing others approval before moving forward ask yourself if you have been asking for permission or perspective.
Try these steps:
1) Write out what you are considering.
2) Make a list of whose perspective you would appreciate and what exactly you are asking them to weigh in on.
3) Connect with them and lay out whatever you are thinking about and ask what they see that maybe you don’t. Invite questions and concerns.
4) Thank them for their input and let it all ruminate for a day or two.
5) Pray and make your decision.
6) Ask for support. Contact those you talked to and let them know that after considering multiple people’s input you have decided what you are going to try. Let them know what that thing is and then ask them to walk with you no matter what the outcome is.
This will keep your free will in tact while inviting others perspective. They may see things that you don’t but in the end you are the one that needs to decide what God is asking you to do.
Think of Paul when many different prophets were telling him no to go to Rome, but thank God he did or we would be missing large chunks of the New Testament.
*Leaders – just because someone comes to you asking what to do does not mean you are responsible to make the decision for them. Instead, let them know what you see as pros and cons, concerns and benefits, outcome values and costs and then hit the ball back.
Let them know that they are responsible to move forward with whatever they see God wants them to do and that you will walk with them no matter the outcome. If you move this way you will be investing in adult peer relationships instead of holding your people back as children.
If you feel you must decide for people than you may be stepping into a role that is not yours to bear. Jesus is the only mediator between God and man.
They may be right – and what if you held them back because you didn’t have the faith that they needed for what God was asking them to do.
OR they may be wrong and need to learn something from the decision.
Either way it is a WIN for you as a leader because your people are growing and you have not broken relationship with them by making them feel ashamed to walk through something you “told them not to do”.
Please understand – I am not talking about moral decisions or things that are unbiblical, but rather things that maybe I wouldn’t do, but God may be asking someone else to move toward.
My hope is that people and their leaders are encouraged by this thought that each person must bear their own load and move forward in their own personal relationship with God.
What is God asking you to do in faith? I’d love to hear about your journey!