3 Foundations of Biblical Decision Making

The Bible is not primarily about you. Neither is it primarily about me. When we recognize this, it not only changes the way we read the Bible; it changes the way we approach the Bible entirely. While God’s Word does tell us the truth about ourselves, and who we are meant to be, it primarily tells us about God – who He is, what He desires, and what His plan is for the universe.

That truth is fundamental to understanding how the Bible helps us make decisions. Because the Bible is primarily about God, we see ourselves in light of God. We view our lives as a part of His ongoing plan. We make decisions based on who God is and what He desires, and we find both of these things in the Bible.

Now that’s not the easiest way. There have been lots of times in my life when I’ve faced a big decision that I’ve thought it would be easier to turn to a page in the Bible and see the specific answer to my question about my life magically appear on that page. But it doesn’t work like that. You won’t find in Scripture the specific answer to who you should marry, what job you should take, or what city you should live in. But that doesn’t mean the Bible doesn’t help us make decisions. It certainly does, and here are three ways how:

1. The Bible is a mirror for our motives.

The Bible is God’s revelation of Himself. And when we read God’s Word, we find a God who is holy in all He does, and in all He is. When we encounter this kind of God, we are like Isaiah in Isaiah 6 – we suddenly see ourselves in light of His holy perfection. The Bible, then, exposes us. It cuts us deeply and shows us the true thoughts and intentions of our hearts.

This is what we really need if we are trying to make decisions that honor the Lord. We need that from God’s Word because we can’t be trusted to know our own hearts. We can so easily trick ourselves into thinking and believing that our motives are pure and right when in actuality they are tainted with all kinds of selfish ambition, greed, and self-protection. The Bible exposes all these things in more, and in so doing, leads us to an attitude of repentance and humility so that we can make a decision with our eyes fully open to exactly why – or why we are not – choosing one thing over another.

2. The Bible broadens our perspective.

When we have a big decision set before us, it’s so easy to get tunnel vision. That decision consumes our thoughts, our feelings, our prayers, and everything else. It becomes the one thing that concerns us both day and night, and when it does, we forget that redemptive history does not rest on whether we move to Omaha or to Pensacola. The Bible helps us with this.

When we read the Bible, we are reminded of our God whose plans cannot be thwarted. Of the One who has both the wisdom and the power to carry out all He desires. It’s not that our single decision doesn’t matter; it really does. But it does remind us that this one decision fits inside of a much larger plan, one that has been going on and will keep going on long after we finish unpacking that U-Haul. A good dose of perspective is never a bad thing because it frees us up to move forward in confidence, not in our decision-making ability, but in a God who will continue on with His unchanging plans.

3. The Bible reveals the will of God.

Finally, the Bible helps us make decisions because the Bible reveals the will of God. True enough, the Bible isn’t going to tell you the name of the person you’re supposed to marry. But the Bible will tell you the kind of person you are supposed to marry. And the Bible won’t tell you what job to take, but the Bible will tell you the purpose and value of work in general. In fact, the Bible will tell us about 95% of God’s will for our lives.

As we weigh the options before us, we should do so with this 95% in mind. We should make this decision knowing that God has already told us a tremendous amount about what we should do in life – that we should be faithful and generous and contributing church members. That we should be about sharing the gospel. That we should utilize both our talents and gifts for the sake of the kingdom. Any decision we make ought to fulfill these aspects of God’s will, and if one of the options before us hinders any of God’s revealed will, then we ought to look in another direction.

In other words, God will not tell us to do something that violates what He’s already told us to do.

Look to God’s Word, friends. Look to it when you need to make a decision. But don’t expect to find some magic formula there. Instead, expect to find His book that shapes the way we think, and therefore shapes the way we make decisions. In the end, that’s a better way because God’s end for us is not just about positioning us somewhere, but making us into a certain kind of person.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Michael Kelley

I’m a Christ-follower, husband, dad, author and speaker. Thanks for stopping here to dialogue with me about what it means to live deeply in all the arenas of life. I live in Nashville, Tennessee, with my wife Jana who is living proof of the theory that males are far more likely to marry over their heads than females are. We have three great kids, Joshua (5) and Andi (3), and Christian (less than 1). They remind me on a daily basis how much I have to grow in being both a father and a child. I work full time for Lifeway Christian Resources, where I’m a Bible study editor. I also get out on the road some to speak in different churches, conferences and retreats.

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comment_post_ID); ?> I agree 100%, you can tell if a church is doing this it grows, if there's no growth there's poor leadership..
 
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comment_post_ID); ?> Great work Bubba! Its exciting to see how God has blessed your faithfulness over your lifetime into remarkable, fruitful, Kingdom expansion! Jesus DID say, "without Me you can do nothing!" (John 15:5). No surprise that He rewards "thick and thin" prayer with great fruitfulness! :)
 
— Mike Taylor
 
comment_post_ID); ?> I loved this presentation. It helped greatly as I organized an Outreach Ministry of The Shepherds Care. Thank you. Esther Callaham Mahgoube Emmanuel Pentecostal Church New Jersey
 
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Clarity Process

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Why Technology is a Senior Leadership Decision

Technology is a part of life. It can work for you, or you can work for it. This is why selecting and implementing technology requires leadership. Technology has the ability to inform and improve how you connect with people, lead your volunteers, and make disciples.

There are three common mistakes that churches make when looking for new technology.  These mistakes can lead to a decision that will only cause more problems.

>> The first mistake — cheaper is better. We wouldn’t put the cheapest roof on our homes, would we? No way. Why? Because it protects our families and our possessions from the elements of nature. The same principle applies to church management software. The right technology will give your church the ability to operate more efficiently and effectively for the long term.

>> The second mistake — if it worked for them, it will work for us. Just because a software solution works well for the church across town doesn’t mean it will do the same for you.  Never confuse your preferences or needs with the preferences of others or the needs of another church.

>> The third mistake — let them choose. Often decisions about technology are delegated to others, but this approach doesn’t take into account the impact that these decisions can have on the long-term success of all your different ministries. Yes, Lead Pastors and Executive Pastors, I am talking to you! While you may not directly deal with the day-to-day management of your church software, you set the pace for those who do.

The key to success is found in these 5 principles

  1. Cast a vision for the staff. You are the leader for a reason. The staff looks to you for direction and vision. Change can be intimidating and uncomfortable, and implementing new technology requires change. Casting a clear vision of how this technology will improve ministry is the first step.  If you can’t answer that question, perhaps it’s not the right technology. You don’t have to know all of the ins and outs, but you should have an understanding of how it works in improving your ministry.
  2. Build a team. If you want to get the most out of your new technology, you should create a network of people to share the responsibility of managing it. Make sure the key players have a stake in the success of the new tools.
  3. Define success and lead towards it.  What are the things your software must do? Set those objectives as expectations for successful implementation. Once everyone is on the same page, be sure you create accountability so that everyone is working toward reaching your goals.
  4. Chart the course. Implementing change takes time. By having a defined path with measurable and achievable milestones, you can measure your progress.  This will establish the processes that will make it successful. Get some small wins early and keep moving in the right direction.
  5. Clear the obstacles. This is one of the most overlooked roles of a leader.  You should be clearing the way for other to succeedMost of the friction that occurs in ministry can be traced back to processes, not people. Begin by eliminating ministry silos that are preventing your team from getting the most from your technology.

We live in a time when every church should be using technology to equip people and empower ministry. As a church leader, you have a responsibility to set the precedent for how your church is going to steward the resources you have and the people God has brought into your church. Taking the time to focus on these areas will not only improve the overall effectiveness of your church technology, it will ultimately make a tremendous difference in the way your church impacts your community.

How are you setting the pace for how your church leverages technology? How is it working for you?

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Steve Caton

Steve Caton

Steve Caton is part of the Leadership Team at Church Community Builder. He leverages a unique background in technology, fundraising and church leadership to help local churches decentralize their processes and equip their people to be disciple makers. Steve is a contributing author on a number of websites, including the Vision Room, ChurchTech Today, Innovate for Jesus and the popular Church Community Builder Blog. He also co-wrote the eBook “Getting Disciple Making Right”. While technology is what Steve does on a daily basis, impacting and influencing the local church is what really matters to him……as well as enjoying deep Colorado powder with his wife and two sons!

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COMMENTS

What say you? Leave a comment!

Recent Comments
comment_post_ID); ?> I agree 100%, you can tell if a church is doing this it grows, if there's no growth there's poor leadership..
 
— Dennis Whiterock
 
comment_post_ID); ?> Great work Bubba! Its exciting to see how God has blessed your faithfulness over your lifetime into remarkable, fruitful, Kingdom expansion! Jesus DID say, "without Me you can do nothing!" (John 15:5). No surprise that He rewards "thick and thin" prayer with great fruitfulness! :)
 
— Mike Taylor
 
comment_post_ID); ?> I loved this presentation. It helped greatly as I organized an Outreach Ministry of The Shepherds Care. Thank you. Esther Callaham Mahgoube Emmanuel Pentecostal Church New Jersey
 
— Esther Mahgoube
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.