My Consensus Compass for Good Decision-Making

A compass is used to learn where you are and which direction you are headed. Use this consensus compass to get your bearings on good decision-making processes.  Then summarize what you know about making good decisions together in your church group. Where are you strong? Where is there room for improvement?

Christ centered Community

What would be different in your meetings if you placed Christ first in your decision making process? What practices will help you to do that? How do you recognize Christ’s presence when you gather to make decisions in your Congregation or Church Board?

Options to explore

How does your current process of making decisions generate creative options to consider rather than simply an ‘either’ ‘or’ choice? What practices do you find helpful to surface these options? 

Ministry matters

How does your process of making decisions take into account your shared values about mission and ministry? How do you share information when making a decision so everyone understands how your decisions will affect ministry?

Participation

How do you invite people to participate fully when making important decisions? How do you prepare them for this task? Is your process safe for people to participate in, and be respected for their contribution?

Action

How often does your decision-making process lead to implementation or action? How do you communicate your decisions to the entire congregation so that they understand what has been decided and how it will affect them?

Structure

What are the basic steps you follow when gathering to make decisions? How do these steps provide information, allow ways for people to discuss the issue, and make a decision that honors one another? How do you orient new members to your way of making decisions?

Seek God’s will

How do you know that your decisions reflect God’s best hope for and through you? Rather than relying on popular opinions or the loudest voice, how do you listen for the voice of God in your process? How confident are you that you have discerned God’s will when you make a decision?

A compass is only any use if you use to to help you get somewhere. I encourage you to use these questions to lead you into a faithful discernment process.

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Julia Wallace

Author: Julia Wallace

Julia is a layperson in the United Methodist Church, USA who works in Mediation and Conflict Transformation. She is co-author of the book: “The Church Guide for Making Decisions Together.”

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