As a leader you will be faced with many decisions. Who has the final word?
Perhaps Jesus’ Great Commission, which is part of a church leader’s job description, can provide some guidance.
The Standard for Decision-Making
Jesus gave the Church a mission before leaving earth — “Go and make disciples of all nations” (Matt. 28:18-20). Characterized as light and salt in this world (Matt. 5:13-16), we are His ambassadors (2 Cor. 5:20). In the process, we will need to make many decisions that should grow out of who He intends for us to be and what He wants us to do, suggesting that He is the standard against which we make decisions. The final decision therefore comes down to what He wants us to do.
- Are we seeking to line up with Him in our decision-making?
- Are we using His purposes and His mission, as found in His Word, as the grid through which we discern what we should do?
The Source of Authority for Making Decisions
Notice how the Great Commission begins — “Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.'” (Matt. 28:18) Herein lies the key for how much latitude we have when making decisions as we go and make disciples. We only have invested authority, that which is given to us by Jesus. Only Jesus, who is the Head of the Church, has inherent authority. We must therefore submit to His will, yielding to Him as the One who makes the final decision.
- Are we asking Him for wisdom and direction?
- Do we have the attitude of “not my will but your will be done”?
The Stewardship in Making Decisions
As we work in cooperation with the Lord to fulfill His mission, we are given an entrustment. We go and make disciples who become fully devoted followers of Jesus. Notice Jesus’ words to be “teaching them to obey everything I (Jesus) have commanded you” (Matt. 28:20). As leaders, we are not to be making decisions for people in the sense of stripping them of personal responsibility and accountability. We are not to put ourselves in Jesus’ place. He is the Head of the Church, not us. Consequently, in making decisions we must remember the priesthood of all believers. We must not act as though we are the top authority. In discipling others, we serve in such a way as to lead them to the One who makes the final decisions.
- Are we engaging others in the decision-making process?
- Are we helping others understand their ultimate accountability to the Lord?