The Key to Good Decision Making

How comfortable are you with making decisions? How good are you at it?

There are a lot of stressors that come with being a church leader, and one of the biggest can be decision-making.

  • Should we add a new service? (What if no one shows up?)
  • Should we relocate a campus? (What if it backfires?)
  • Should we restructure our staff? (What if it actually makes us less productive?)

In the moment, we never really know which decision is right, and we can’t make perfect decisions every time. But as church leaders, we must continue to make decisions because the Kingdom isn’t going to build itself. It takes a good bit of grit, risk, and wisdom.

Luckily, Pastor Craig Groeschel tackled this topic in his Leadership Podcast, helping us examine common pitfalls and sharing tips for becoming better decision makers:

Decision-Making Pitfalls

  • Too many options. A plethora of options might seem like a blessing, but it can actually turn into a curse. It’s much easier to choose from four or five things than from hundreds. Quickly filter down to your very best options and go from there.
  • The illusion of perfection. Most people showcase their highlights and hide their flaws, so we often internalize unrealistic expectations. No decision is perfect from top to bottom, so we should embrace the inevitability of imperfect decisions.
  • Not having developed the skill. No one is born a superior decision-maker. So how can you become one? Practice. The one way to improve your decision-making is to start making decisions.

Decision-Making Best Practices

  • Refuse to make permanent decisions with partial information. When making a decision, we often lay all our information on the table. But what’s just as important is what’s not on the table. Check for blind spots, realize what you don’t know, and don’t let hasty decisions compromise your future.
  • Avoid either/or scenarios. This can be tricky because we want to both limit our options and expand them. We don’t want to get locked into two bad options, but we don’t want to get overloaded with too many. Find that sweet spot that allows good, lean decision-making.
  • Avoid decision-making fatigue. Don’t make every decision in the organization. Delegating not only alleviates some of your burden but also develops leaders by empowering others.
  • Become your own personal advisor. Imagine that another leader has come to you for advice on the problem you’re currently experiencing — what would you tell him or her?

    Getting outside your own head can often bring insightful and refreshing clarity to the situation.

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  • Decide when you’re going to decide. When you make several decisions in a row, it can be easy to get on a roll. Try to bulk decisions so that you’re ready and in the right mindset. Make Wednesday mornings, for example, your time for making the decisions currently on your plate. There’s a cost to putting off decisions, so remind yourself of that.
  • Seek and listen for direction from God. There’s a reason that Jesus is referred to as “Wonderful Counselor.” When you make a habit of tapping into spiritual wisdom, it’s encouraging to look back on the list of all the times you’ve felt prompted by the Holy Spirit to make a decision.

Learn more about becoming a better decision-maker by watching the full Craig Groeschel Leadership Podcast episode Secrets of Superior Decision-Making.


Also, as a bonus, scroll down on the podcast page to find a free document called Six Tips for Successful Decision Making. Walk through this PDF with your team or put it up in your office to remind you how to make better decisions.

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