In real life, business really must be just business. Business isn’t personal unless someone makes it personal out of a business activity or decision. Decisions have to be made. One idea has to be chosen among all the options. These are the business realities of life, and they apply to kingdom work as well.
Turning business decisions into matters of personal preference causes progress to grind to a halt. It is better to reach many outside your church and risk upsetting a few inside your church than to reach only a few and upset no one.
Here are four tips to maintain civility and respect in church business.
- Treat people with respect. Regardless of any tough business decision that needs to be made, we Christians treat everybody with respect. We honor all people the best we can. We may not do what they like, but respect and honor is essential.
- Be aware of your own biases. Often we have personal preferences that we allow to affect our judgment. We like a person. We like a project. A loved one oversees a particular ministry. It is within the context of relationship that our preferences and biases emerge. Take inventory of your relationships and discern if something is hindering you from making the wiser decision.
- Consider how you can communicate the tough decision effectively. When you can, explain your intentions. Share the data. Share the story about how you arrived at the decision. Make sure you are clear about the win—as in clearly articulating why this decision is a good one. While this may not satisfy certain people, you can hold your head high knowing you not only made a tough decision but you did everything you could to help your team understand it.
- Create an environment that is more tolerant and accepting of tough decisions. There’s an old saying that it is hard to argue with success. I would add that it is even harder to argue against a leader who has regularly communicated a longstanding record of success. If you report on successes regularly, you will create a cultural value within your organization that accepts tough decisions because individuals are aware of the good that is happening all around them.