This week I ministered at a church leaders conference in Mafikeng, South Africa. We gathered together with the intent of encouraging one another, learning from one another and developing skills that will help us be better leaders in our sphere of influence.
As leaders, the one thing that never goes away is the need to make decisions. Sometimes the choices we face are clear and easy. Other times we feel as if we are wandering around in a maze with options that could very well lead us to dead ends. There’s no doubt that there are times when decision-making can be very stressful.
At the session I led at the conference, I spoke about the process of decision-making and what makes it easier for me.
Here are my thoughts:
- Be intentional about my core values. Do I know what drives and motivates me? If left to my own sinful nature, my values will be selfish and self-serving. However, Christ in me compels me to be somebody different. The values that are core to my being, whether I actually recognize what they are or not, will determine the decisions I make. I should thus be intentional about what I want my core values to be. I have made a list of 5 values that are deeply important to me. When it comes to making decisions, I lay the choices against my core values and it is amazing how much simpler the decisions sometimes become.
- Be intentional about my future. It is important to me that I know where I want to be in 5 years or in 10 years? I am a firm believer in setting goals and planning how to get there. To me, not knowing my goals would be like planning a trip in a foreign country without getting directions – I am likely to get lost. I realize that sometimes spontaneity takes you to exciting places and this is great. However, for me, knowing where I want to go and how I want to get there (my core values) helps to make the decision-making process so much easier.
- Be intentional about my devotional life. Having a set time every day that I read scripture and pray is the foundation of the first two points. When I have a decision to make, certainly I pray about it. However, having a time to read scripture and pray, not because I need an answer or want direction but simply because I want to know God more intimately, is what nourishes my soul. The strange thing is, when my soul is nourished I find it much easier to make decisions.
The time to ensure that decision-making is an easier task is not when the decision needs to be made but long before. Determining the values by which you want to live, having set goals and nourishing your soul prepares you long in advance to make less stressful and more peaceful decisions.
Question: Are you intentional about any or all of the above?