By Jess Rainer
I was tired.
If you could have asked me about 3 months ago, I would have told you that I was tired of making decisions as a pastor. This year has been full of decision-making. Decisions that I never expected to make. Decisions that I didn’t feel equipped to make. And I was tired of making decisions.
But don’t miss the past-tense of my statement. I was tired of making decisions. Today, I’m energized in my decision-making.
So, what changed?
I learned something about myself this year as a leader. I don’t like to make decisions if I don’t know where I am leading my church. I don’t make good decisions if I don’t know where I am leading my church.
Several months ago, I sat down with my church leadership team and asked two questions: “Where are we going?” and “Why do we do what we do?” While there was some commonality, there was not uniformity in their answers. It became clear to me then. We were trying to make decisions without knowing where the decisions would lead us.
Decision fatigue had set in.
It was at this point that my main goal was to have clear answers to both of those questions. I wanted the church that I get to lead to have clear answers to both of those questions. We found the answers to those questions and developed a new vision, mission, and strategy for the church. We defined why we do what we do and where we are going as a church.
While this may seem basic (and it is), it can be an easy oversight in church leadership. I think we far too often focus on how or what we do as a church, rather than why we do what we do as a church. And probably the biggest omission (at least it was to me) was not having a clearly defined strategy. We re-articulated our vision and mission, but equally important, we clearly defined our strategy. We know clearly where we are going in the next 15 months.
Vision and mission are simply words on a page without a strategy.
Now, I’m excited to make decisions. In fact, the decisions are pretty easy now. Why? Because we know where we are going as a church and why we are going there.
While this may not be THE answer to church leader decision fatigue, it might be YOUR answer right now. If it is, I hope you’ll think about where you are going as a church and why you are going there.
And hopefully very soon, you’ll be able to say, “I was tired” too.
Jess Rainer is a Church Answers coach and the co-founder of Rainer Publishing.