When you make a decision in your life, how do you know it is the right thing to do? Quick decision-making often results in poor decision-making. Long and drawn-out decision-making often results in paralyzing others that look to you for leadership. Therefore, how are we to know when we are making the right decisions in life?
Preparation is really one of the important things about decision-making. For those of us who are Christ-followers, a passionate daily walk with Christ can help aid us towards effective decision-making. I want to challenge you to ask yourself six questions when making a decision in your life?
Question 1: Do I have a word from God’s Word about this decision?
When the trucking magnate J.B. Hunt was alive, he used to read the Bible through about once every 18-20 months. Although he would tell you he had a limited education, he shared with me wonderful insights he had from his walk with Christ. As a former truck driver who founded the powerful J.B. Hunt Transport, he would say that the Bible was like his road map for life. As he read it, God would make clear to him where he needed to go and what he needed to do.
The Bible is the GPS system for Christ-followers today! We do not have to walk in the darkness of decision-making. Through God’s Word, we can have God’s way lit for us. God’s Word always shows us God’s Way! The Holy Spirit never leads us away from God’s Word.
The most important step you can take daily is to read God’s Word. Ask God to give you a word from His Word about the decisions that you have to make. Some decisions you do not even need to pray about because the answers are already clear in God’s Word. His Word can keep you straight and on target towards His will.
Question 2: Is this what Jesus would want me to do?
As you become aware of Jesus’ life from the Word of God, clarity is gained in decision-making. Through the lens of God’s Word, the will of Jesus becomes crystal clear. Before you just haphazardly declare God does or does not want you to do something, stop long enough to ask yourself: Is this what Jesus would want me to do? If the decision you make does not represent the person and character of Jesus Christ properly, then Jesus probably is not leading you to make that decision.
Question 3: Have I valued what others have told me?
Decision-making can be confirmed or questioned when godly, holy people become a part of your decision-making process. Godly counsel can help us. Ungodly counsel will never help us. Decision-making is about the will of God, not about our will. Do you take the time to seek godly counsel about important decisions? Are you listening to this counsel? Do you value what these counselors are saying? You need to give your godly counsel time to consider, to pray, and then tell you the truth about what they believe is God’s will, not what they think you want them to say.
Question 4: Have I saturated this decision in prayer?
Before we question others, godly or not, and before we stress ourselves out, laboring over decision-making, we need to make sure our decision-making is saturated in prayer! Christ-followers need to follow the New Testament model and saturate decision-making in prayer. Prayer needs to be your first choice, not your last choice. We need to pour our hearts out to God, pleading for a Word from Him, desiring to honor Jesus in every way, and valuing the godly counsel of others. Call out to the Lord about the decisions that lie before you!
Question 5: Am I willing to leave it all in God’s hands?
King Jesus rules! King Jesus reigns! May His Kingdom come and may His will be done on earth, as it is being done right now in heaven! Daily, we must go to the Lord being committed to trust His Sovereign ruler-ship over all things! If He can turn the hearts of kings, He can open and close doors, and change circumstances in the twinkle of an eye! If King Jesus wants it to happen, He can make it happen. We must pray believing this and walk away willing to leave it all in God’s hands! We cannot resent outcomes. We cannot become bitter over the results. We cannot wonder endlessly, asking why. We have to leave it all up to King Jesus!
Question 6: Will I trust the Lord with the outcome?
This fifth and sixth question are cousins, really close cousins! Relationships are built upon trust. We must trust God knows what is best for us even when we do not know what is best for ourselves! We must leave the results in God’s hands, walking in 100% trust. Absolute trust! Complete faith, believing God’s will is never denied. He has the final word!
From now on… slow down. Ask yourself these questions. Take time to answer them. Be honest with yourself completely. Be resolved: I want the Lord’s will in all things.
Three years ago I began to have a vision for a ministry that would welcome God-called men and women from around the country and world onto the Cross Church campuses for a time of leadership training and hands-on ministry guidance.
This week, that vision became a reality! And now, for the first time on my blog I am introducing this newest vision, The Cross Church School of Ministry. For years, God has used our church to call, equip, and send leaders out globally. Now, beginning in August of 2013, we are going to put a structure with systems to the work God has done for at least two decades through our church.
“The Cross Church School of Ministry is a one-year residential ministry experience that prepares leaders for life, ministry, and gospel advancement globally.”
Preparation and Purpose
The purpose of this new school is NOT to replace what our universities and seminaries do by way of theological education but to complement them. I am convinced there is a major gap in ministry preparation – what I will call “the experience gap.” The Cross Church School of Ministry will fill this gap with a one-year residential experience in ministry practice, in the setting of one of the largest and fastest growing churches in America as reported by Outreach Magazine.
We are already in the process of developing partnerships with all six Southern Baptist seminaries, Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary, Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary, Criswell College, Oklahoma Baptist University, Ouachita Baptist University, Southwest Baptist University, Liberty University, and Union University. The initial feedback to our efforts is positive and affirming and we will be in a position to very soon announce these partnerships.
In fact, the initial reaction, across the board, to the Cross Church School of Ministry is so positive that many are asking how they can be a part and help us. Very simply you can help us by spreading the word about the Cross Church School of Ministry. If you know someone called to ministry, send them our way.
Learning Life and Leadership
Let me say that the Cross Church School of Ministry is a unique opportunity for any young man or woman called to ministry. These students will come to us pre-college, during college, post-college, pre-seminary, mid or post–seminary, or whenever in ministry. We believe Cross Church is prepared as much as any other church to offer this type of residential experience of study and practice, and we believe that paired with a degree from a seminary or college, we will collectively be sending out the best men and women ready to impact the Kingdom of God!
Upon entering residency with us, students will:
- Experience choosing a customized ministry track for their year with us that will best equip them for their calling, such as students, worship, children, pastoral, missions, and many others that will be offered.
- Experience meeting weekly in a formal, Oxford-style learning environment being prepared as leaders for life, ministry, and Gospel advancement globally.
- Experience evaluation and accountability personally and professionally through a one-on-one ministry mentor who is a seasoned staff member of Cross Church.
- Experience ministry and leadership in a local church setting.
- Experience two North American mission experiences.
- Experience one international mission experience.
Upon their graduation with a Certificate from the Cross Church School of Ministry, we believe they will become some of the church’s greatest leaders in our generation.
Let me finish by introducing to you the President of the Cross Church School of Ministry. Dr. Jeff Crawford comes to lead this school after a seven-year tenure as pastor of one of the largest churches in the state of Arkansas. Dr. Crawford has a strong pedigree in Southern Baptist life with over 20 years of ministry experience and service. He is a committed academician with a B.A. from Oklahoma Baptist University, M.Div. in biblical languages from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and an Ed.D. from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Dr. Crawford is an outstanding leader and an accomplished author and preacher. In addition to serving as the president of this new school, he is also serving as a teaching pastor for Cross Church and will be assisting me in the pulpit across our four campuses. You can follow Dr. Crawford on Twitter @jeffcraw4d and on his blog. If you would like more information about the Cross Church School of Ministry or want to discuss a particular young man or woman who could be prospective student, I would urge you to contact Dr. Crawford: firstname.lastname@example.org