Leading with God Part 3: Discernment

woman readingMy previous posts in this series, Leading with God, talked about abiding instead of striving and a rhythm of work and rest. This post will focus on how we avoid the third way we leave God out of our leadership: making decisions in a vacuum.

When I start to feel squeezed from the ticking stopwatch or job stress or family demands, I start going solo in my leadership. I start making decisions all on my own that affect a lot of people, because I am trying to move as fast as I can. And, let’s be honest, getting input from others, much less God, takes time. And energy.

When I consider only my perspective on a decision, then I make decisions that benefit me and my needs alone. A leadership decision vacuum is a recipe for disaster and a great way to leave God right out of your leadership.

I have three recommendations for moving from a decision-making vacuum to discernment:

  1. Invite wise counsel. Ask a coach to help you see the situation from a different perspective. Ask trusted advisers with more experience to weigh in on the options. Ask a spiritual director to help you listen for God’s leading. Ask the question, “Is there someone missing from this conversation?”
  2. Review your days. Take notice of how you feel about your day, your decisions, and your interactions with others. Look for unusual God moments: Where did you see Him at work? What Scripture or biblical narrative comes to mind when you consider your situation? Is there anything you regret about your decisions? Any lingering questions that you have?
  3. Enter into spiritual discernment together. Pause and seek God’s will with others. Ask a few trusted teammates to join you in prayer. Slow the decision-making process down to relieve the pressure. (Join me in reading Ruth Haley Barton’s most recent book, Pursuing God’s Will Together: A Discernment Practice for Leadership Groups, to learn more about this process and how it looks with a team.)
What other ways have you found to lead with God?




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