It was only a few months ago that our team met around a small table in a noisy coffee shop. We balanced our lattes and our phones in front of us as we resisted the urge to just socialize. We had work to do.
We were meeting to talk about what to do for the women’s ministry at our church. My partner and I had been doing things on our own for some time, and we finally had some women willing to help. Of course, it helped that we asked. It’s funny how people don’t know you need help if you do it all yourself.
We got to work, talking about our hopes for the women of our church and community. There was a buzz of energy as our little group began sharing ideas. This always felt like fun in school, this brainstorming energy. Now, it left me wishing I got a cookie to go with my herbal tea.
Should we do the Bible study or the small group?
What about that women’s dinner we talked about?
Oh! And we were going to do something for the moms with little ones.
Honestly, we could have sat there all day coming up with ideas. That was the fun part.
Our team had what felt like 100 ideas. They were all good ideas, great even. But the reality was, we couldn’t do everything. Decisions needed to be made. And instead of feeling confident and equipped, I felt overwhelmed and uncertain.
Yes, I knew I needed to pray. But I wasn’t actually doing it. I was spending a lot of time thinking about everything, but thinking and praying are not the same thing. Our prayers don’t need to be special or fancy, but they do need to be words or thoughts directed to God.
Praying in every step of this process is the key to making decisions with peace. But we need clear, actionable steps we can take to go from overwhelmed to confident. Here are five practical steps to making confident decisions in ministry and in life:
1) Define Your Focus. Ask God to clarify what area you need to focus on. He is faithful to help direct us to honor and glorify him.
2) Identify the Top 3. What are the top three decisions that need to be made? Don’t worry about the big picture and all the details. Pick three things that will simplify, clarify, and move you forward.
3) Not All at Once. Remember it doesn’t all need to happen at once. Consider a rolling start by thinking about what you can implement or decide on now, what you will work on next week, and what can wait until next month.
4) It’s Not Permanent. It’s easy to think the decisions we make are forever. Give yourself permission to start without having it all figured out by setting a date to date to reevaluate.
5) Course Correct. Ask God what changes need to be made. It’s rare that we make decisions and everything goes perfectly. Consider what you can change and go back through the list again.
Remember, God already knows the outcomes. He knows the decisions you are going to make. We can ask him to help us along the way and to correct our course when we’re off. This is where our confidence lies. Not in our ability to make perfect decisions, but in the faithfulness of the Perfect One.
These practical steps will help you, but placing our confidence in God and his good plans for us will get us farther than we dreamed. Include God in each of the steps and be willing to listen to his direction.
Rebecca Hastings is a writer and speaker encouraging women to find real faith for real life. Her work has also been featured at Relevant Magazine, (in)courage and The Washington Post. She can often be found typing words, driving her kids places or wherever there is chocolate. To get her free printable guide to making confident decisions, visit Rebecca on Instagram at @myinkdance.