As a pastor, you
must make many decisions. Much of the pastor's time and
energy are consumed by the decision-making process. Some
decisions can be made easily and cause little
difficulty. Others are crucial and have significant
consequences. Here are some factors to keep in mind as
you approach the many decisions you must make.
The Responsibility Factor
decisions a pastor must make are exclusively in his
domain. Others require him to involve other people in
the decision-making process. Confusion can result when a
decision is made by the wrong person or group. In
general, people who are to share in the consequences of
a decision should be involved in making that decision.
Also people are more likely to feel responsible for the
results of a decision if they have had a part in making
The Urgency Factor
Decisions that are not crucial should not require more
time or energy than necessary. Ask, "What would happen
if nothing were done?" On the other hand, crucial
decisions should not be neglected.
This refers to the amount of
time allowed before the decision must be made. Decisions
that have far-reaching impact should not be made
impulsively. On the other hand, never neglect a decision
that must be made in a timely fashion. Be careful that
procrastination does not become a factor.
A Model for Decision-Making
Clarify the Issue
This is essential.
Your judgment can be distorted if you do not clearly see
Take enough time to gather needed information. Consult
with experts or caring friends. Do your homework.
Explore Alternatives and Consequences
Several actions could be taken. What would be the
probable result of each? Consider all the possibilities.
Pray for Guidance
the necessity of prayer is more than a pious reminder.
Decision-making calls for wisdom. Only God can give true
wisdom. God is more concerned about you and your church
than you can imagine. Consult Him.
from Brooks Faulkner, Getting on Top of Your Work, A
Manual for the 21st-century Minister, (Nashville:
Convention Press, 1999).