How to kill a good idea …
Your team has been studying the Word together, praying, and seeking the leading of the Holy Spirit as you meet together over a period of weeks to revisit the direction for your local church.
After more than a month of such meetings, the team is more excited than you’ve ever seen them. It’s clear to all of you the Holy Spirit has given you a fresh vision and direction for the church, one in line with scripture and having a clearer focus for the purpose of Christ’s church.
Now that the meetings are done and you begin the work of executing your new plans, you begin sharing the new direction with others in the church. But they weren’t a part of the praying and studying and seeking and discussing and planning. So some quickly criticize the new plan and urge you to leave things as they are.
You tell others and some of them say the same thing. For the same reason.
Now you’re doubting the entire process you’ve just finished, and its outcome.
And it’s all your fault.
That’s because, as Martin Luther King, Jr., once stated, “A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus, but a molder of consensus.”
Your team had been authorized by the leadership to be the team to develop a new strategy for the church. In such cases, to open wide the results of such plans to just any kind of general feedback by any and everyone will often result in criticism you may not benefit by because those outside your team did not see and experience all of the “spiritual work” involved in arriving at the conclusion you came to.
On several occasions, I have seen church leaders go through this process, arrive at what they were positive was God’s will and clear direction, and His exciting new leading for them and the church, only to have their conclusions quickly shot down by people who had no part of the visioning process. This occurs when leaders don’t treat the final result of the work of their team as a settled decision, and instead open it for general consensus. Once the team made a decision, the leader should have began a process of molding consensus around the decision rather than making the decision unsettled by leaving it vulnerable to general consensus.
Put simply, once a vision is sure and a decision is made, the leaders need to mold broad feedback toward fitting into the execution of the decision rather than opening up the decision itself to people who had no experience in the making of it. That’s why leaders, not large groups, make decisions.
A key part of leadership is molding lots of ideas and attitudes around the support of a single vision and mission. Failure to mold consensus is one of the fastest ways to kill a good idea.