How can ministry workers make effective decisions about major changes to their ministry?
Patricia Jehle answers this question from a missionary in the field — “Give us tips and practical tools on making decisions about change, moving forward, or terminating a ministry that isn't productive or standing fast with a hope for future breakthroughs.”
Today's podcast will be on listening to God to make a decision regarding making a ministry change or not. This process seems, in some ways, rather daunting, but in other ways, quite simple. It is daunting when we feel we might get it wrong, but I believe God will guide you in your decision-making process. It is simple when thinking about God's big picture and what He wants in general for all of us.
This is the first in a three part series on decision-making. Our Christian Ministry Maven for these episodes is Patricia Jehle, a university instructor in Switzerland and a business coach.
Click the green play button to listen to Patricia:
Here are the two models Patricia mentions:
Two Models that I like for decision making: Rational and Ethical Models — these are found below in the notes along with the questions asked.
- Identify the problem to be solved
- Establish criteria for success
- Weigh the decision criteria (what’s most/least important)
- Generate alternatives (as many as possible- brainstorming)
- Evaluate your alternatives (what happens if you do/don’t, etc.)
- Choose your best alternative
- Implement the decision
- Evaluate the decision
- Make any needed changes
- Stop and think: identify the situation and the problem
- Construct a description of the problem
- For whom is this a problem, for whom not
- View this in terms of an ethical framework
- Consider moral and legal principles
- Identify any support that may be available (who can help?)
- Identify courses of action (Brainstorm)
- Select course of action
- Evaluate the outcome (use a neutral supervisor), ask who may be hurt
- Regularly check the impact of the decision on people and events
Always remember to think in complex terms
- The Pareto principle applies, always- questions
- There will be unexpected consequences, so watch for them and adjust when necessary; it’s okay to make another decision, or to readjust
- Remember that your organization’s system may really mess up your decision, so be prepared for disappointment and re-adjustment
- Always try for a win-win situation for all involved
Here are the two books Patricia recommended:
“Decision Making and the Will of God: A Biblical Alternative to the Traditional View.” Garry Friesen with Robin Maxson, Multnomah Press
“The Power of a Whisper: Hearing God. Having the Guts to Respond.” Bill Hybels, Zondervan Press
Full transcripts and related resources are available without cost through our private Christian Ministry Academy membership site.
Patricia Jehle (pronounced “yay lay”) is a part-time lecturer at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwest Switzerland and is also a certified business coach and a spiritual director. Besides working for InterVarsity USA in the past, she has served as a short term missionary in the Philippines and in Thailand. Along with several other ministries, she is involved in the leadership of a church plant in her local neighborhood in Switzerland. Sharing the life-giving truth of the Gospel is one of her passions. Patricia Jehle has a Masters of Education from the University of Minnesota.
Patricia Jehle can be reached through her:
We would like to thank the sponsor of this podcast…the Great Commission Foundation.
The Great Commission Foundation provides financial management administrative services to ministries… and handles charity donation receipting and government compliance in both the United States and Canada.
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