What we experience in many churches is that making decisions is difficult and that many churches do not have a process that helps them. In fact, the decision-making process is so poor that I now ask churches, "What is your process for making decisions?" Most often these leaders do not have an answer.
Here's a decision-making tree to help you and your church make better, more timely decisions:
Step 1: Values
Your core values are the foundation that gives your church its sense of individual identity, provides direction, and are foundation upon which decisions are made. Run the decision through your core values. Your goal is to determine the consistency of the decision with your core values. The values decision answers the question can we say yes to this decision? Ask these two questions:
1. Is this decision consistent with and connected to our core values?
- If yes, write a statement that describes how it is consistent and connected to your core values, then move ahead.
- If no, stop. Write a clear statement of why the decision does not meet your core values test and clearly communicate the reason to the person who brought the decision in question.
- If yes, are those dollars available in the regular budget or would it require extra-budget funding?
- If no, what is it about the decision that makes it not reach the level of importance for funding? Write your statement and present it to the person bringing the decision
Now you are looking at how this decision connects with your church's mission, that statement that describes why your church exists. Your mission statement answers the question should we say yes to this decision?
- If yes, write a clear statement of how this decision moves you ahead in your mission.
- If no, stop. Write your statement describing why it does not connect with your mission and communicate the reason.
Your vision is what you wish to see come to being in the next few years. Ask the question: does this decision contribute to accomplishing our vision? At this step you are answering the final question of will we say yes to this decision?
- If yes, write your statement that describes how a positive decision substantially contributes to accomplishing your vision. Clearly describe what you will gain by a positive decision.
- If no, write your statement describing why it does not and clearly describe what you will lose by making a negative decision.