When To Push And When To Wait

Courtesy of Dreamstime.com

I was a control freak when I first started in ministry.  I would tell people to brainstorm on an idea; but, while they went off to do so, I would come up with a “Back Up Plan”.  It was a true sign that trust lacked and it lead to the loss of some really key leaders.  Eventually I had a few loyal ministers call me out, and tell me that I had to let go.  Since making that agonizing decision to actually delegate, hand over and trust my team with responsibilities and ideas, the ministry has grown deeper and wider.  And while I’m better at delegating, it’s still a skill that needs reflection and reexamining.
One of the reasons we hold back from giving our ministers any creative authority is the possibility of turning them down and rejecting their ideas.  It’s a legitimate concern because we don’t want our teams disappointed and facing the failure we tend to face ourselves.  However, this concern is also generated by the fact that we aren’t sure when to Push An Idea Ahead and when to Put It On The Back Burner.  While there isn’t a scientific method, here are a few signs of when to go ahead and when to hold back.
When To Push Ahead – Sometimes we hit an idea that is too good to wait.  Those ideas are:

  • Simple – Meaning not much is there to put together.  Not a lot of resources are needed.
  • Clear – Instructions are easy to understand and take little effort to communicate and broadcast to others.

When To Wait – If it’s a great idea; however, the time and the place don’t seem to match up, put it on your back burner.  The reasons to wait are:

  • Outcomes have not been calculated – You haven’t thought through every scenario.
  • Team is not fully on board or informed – People either disagree with the decision or there isn’t enough time to get everyone coordinated.
  • Intentions are more self focused than God focused – You want to do the idea because of how it will make you feel or appear.  While there is nothing totally wrong with that, you have to take into consideration whether or not this is a part of God’s plan for the ministry.

In the end you need to make your decision with confidence.  If you are wrong, admit your mistake, and reflect on what you could have done to make a wiser choice.  Don’t distribute blame; however, own the fact that you waited or pushed ahead.  When your team witnesses your ability to lean into a situation, in the future they’ll support and encourage you.

    How do you discern between waiting and pushing ahead?