Making Decisions

In our society today there’s a stress on democracy and majority rule. The problem with pure majority rule is that 50% plus one can suppress the “minority.” There’s also a problem with people making decisions without or in spite of proper knowledge.

As a pastor there have been times when someone would ask me, why don’t I put a particular person into a particular position. In some cases I had information that I didn’t feel at liberty to share. The particular person may have a moral issue. Perhaps the individual shared a confidential reason why he didn’t want to be in that position.

There are times when I’ve chosen to abstain from a vote that I didn’t have sufficient information on. While I’m a well-read person, I’ve had times when I’d go to vote in an election–I’ve never missed voting in one–and found something on the ballot I was not familiar with. In those cases I considered it my civic duty to leave that part of the ballot blank. Making a guess could mean the wrong decision.

In churches I’ve seen people make decisions without adequate knowledge or information. I remember several years ago recommending to a congregation that they needed to have a means of giving online. Church leaders rejected my recommendation by doing a poll. The result: people like giving with a check. They were making a decision by ignoring the fact that many young people don’t “write” personal checks.

A church consultant with specialized training can provide proper recommendations for the good of a local congregation. A wise person seeks the counsel of people who can provide the needed information to make good decisions.

Ashton C. Smith

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