This is a condition that often occurs in business when board members are too afraid to make a decision. Its cause is a total breakdown of leadership and the leaders inability to convey vision. It nearly exclusively occurs in a toxic work environment where people are staunchly afraid to make a decision, out of fear of rebuke or perhaps bruising their ego in case it doesn’t work out. At this point a committee is formed to insulate the decision makers and essentially pass the responsibility to someone else. The committee will often insulate themselves from responsibility by hiring a consultant. At the very least, this will significantly postpone any decision being made and perhaps the issue at hand will simply go away and not have to be dealt with anyway.
When you see a successful business doing this, sell your stock. No business has ever risen from indecision. Most businesses can survive a few bad calls, but committee’s and consultants are the kiss of death. Mind you, I”m not talking about market research and product testing and the like, I’m talking about having the facts in hand and passing the buck.
Can this occur in the church? I don’t mean the church as a whole, but an individual church? I believe it can. The signs are essentially the same. The board appoints a committee and the committee brings in a consultant. No deadline is set for a resolution. Church members see this as weak leadership and go looking for a church with leaders that they can follow. After all, could there really be followers without leaders? Now church membership dwindles and finance become tight, further limiting board options, essentially narrowing down the options available. A bad decision is sustainable, indecision is not survivable. Indecision is the antithesis of leadership.
A church has one more card in its deck than a business does, prayer. Now listen very carefully to exactly what I’m saying, prayer is integral to making any decision in church or in any aspect of the Christians life, however, it can be used as another “committee” tool. Using prayer as a pious tool for postponing a decision is sin. There are decisions that need to be made in a timely fashion and by claiming that a committee is waiting for “Gods direction” is likely full of bunk. That is suggesting that God is limited and weak and can only work in the lives of His people if one singular perfect choice is made. That in turn makes committee God , now doesn’t it? Quite a high view of ourselves, I’d say. If its Gods will, a raccoon can preach the greatest sermon ever heard and polar bear can run the greatest childrens ministry! Mind you those aren’t suggestions, but we don’t have the power to limit God one bit, that’s all His business. Pray, absolutely, but lead with vision. Inspire people with the unapologetic strength that Jesus had, after all, can Jesus do it or not?
Leading isn’t easy and we often make things challenging for them. If you have good strong leaders in your church, in your family, or at your work, thank them and treat them with respect. We need to always keep them in our prayers so when the time comes, THEY WILL MAKE the best decisions. We often neglect them and assume they will always do the right thing, but when they make a mistake we need to be supportive as well. That’s what a good follower should do. So pray with me friends, Lord, through our leaders, bring it on. Bring us closer to you, in good times or bad, give us strength through our weakness and bravery through our cowardice. Never let us forget that you are God and we are not. Amen