There are two approaches to including others. One is beneficial and the other is detrimental to the task of leading. Seeking counsel means finding the best and brightest available, allowing them to speak freely from their years of gained wisdom, and incorporating that into the decision making process. Seeking consensus means a leader works really hard to get everyone on the same page. Seeking counsel makes for strong, insightful decisions. Seeking consensus means often something important doesn’t get done because of one or two people (usually the loudest) who don’t agree.
Seeking counsel is important because we can’t possible know everything we need to know to make an informed decision. We need people who are insightful and have a lot of experience to join us at the leadership table. One person has one life of experience and insight…even if they are the wisest person to ever live. In making decisions we need to seek out the counsel of others who are wiser and more experienced than ourselves so we can make the best decision possible at the time.
Consensus certainly doesn’t mean neglecting dissenting voices. Some of the greatest wisdom is gained by listening to those who disagree with you or with whom you disagree. But not all dissent is equal. There is dissent that comes from someone invested in the mission of the church, and there are those who simply like to complain at even the smallest changes.
It also doesn’t mean we don’t have to lead people who are resistant. Sometimes it takes time for a decision to sink in. Sometimes, people never completely adjust to a decision. There is often some grey area in any decision that is made. And there will always be mistakes. Decisions aren’t guaranteed.
To make the best decisions in the our search to follow God, we must seek the counsel of those who are seeking after God, desiring His vision and purposes be fulfilled here at Crossroads Vineyard Church, and have insight into the situations we face. There will be times when after much reflection, prayer, and counsel…we still make the wrong decision. We apologize, make amends as best we can, and move on. The mistakes of life and leadership are an incubator of ideas and insights.