Leading a Gospel Advancing Ministry well is a challenge! Have you ever been in a place where you have a tough leadership decision to make and you find yourself uncertain about what the “will of God” might be for that decision? You’re not alone. It’s a scenario that virtually every youth leader has encountered…repeatedly. So how do you go about discerning God’s will when you face a hard leadership decision?
While there’s no “set formula” for finding God’s will in any given situation, there are four steps you can take when you’re praying through a decision and seeking God’s direction in your ministry that may help you better listen for His direction in your life.
Try This! ❯
Check to make sure you are willing to follow God’s leading, whatever it is, whether it will be hard or easy. Do you want what you want, rather than what He wants?
4 Steps When Seeking God’s Direction
- Do your very best to confess and turn away from any known sin in your life that may be hindering your relationship with God. It’s not that you have to be a perfect, sinless person for God’s love and presence to be real and full in your life. God meets us where we are at and loves us unconditionally, but sometimes our own sin creates static in our relationship with Him. When we confess our sin that static gets cleared away and we can experience Him in deeper more meaningful way.
- Check to make sure you are willing to follow God’s leading whatever it is, whether it will be hard or easy, and whether it seems like what you want, rather than what He wants. If we only want to hear what we want to hear…it shouldn’t surprise us if God seems silent on the thing we are asking about. In Luke 9:23, Jesus put it this way, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross daily, and follow me.” So do what you can to tell God you want to follow His leading and direction in your life.
- Pray and ask God specifically to help you understand what He wants you to do with this decision. Give God permission to use others whose walk with God you respect to speak to you or to use the circumstances He sends your way to speak to you. This could include your spouse, a Christian mentor, your senior pastor or any mature Christian you trust who shares your commitment to advancing the gospel. Then listen for God’s direction in your circumstances and conversations with others.
- Try making a “pros and cons” list as you face your decision. Sometimes God just wants us to use the brains and priorities He has already given us to make decisions in our ministries. Identify what would be good and what would be hard about the choices before you. But remember that “hard” isn’t always “bad.” New challenges might force you to grow more dependent on God because they stretch you and take you out of your comfort zone. You might want to involve others in this sort of evaluation, because they may have insights and perspective that will help you evaluate the choices before you. Be sure to think through how each pro or con point might help you glorify God and advance His kingdom with your life and ministry.
Discerning God’s direction in our ministries is a process—a challenge whether you’re just starting in ministry or have been doing this for decades. There’s no magic formula—but if you are genuinely seeking God’s direction in prayer, searching your heart, seeking godly counsel, listening and applying the truths He has shown you in the Bible to your life and ministry—then if you find yourself still uncertain what to do—don’t stress out about it. As Christian author Dallas Willard once wrote, “God will not play games of hide-and-seek with us…In general, it is the will of God that we ourselves should have a great part in determining our path through life. This does not mean that he is not with us—far from it. God both develops and, for our good, tests our character by leaving us to decide. He calls us to responsible citizenship in his Kingdom by, in effect or in reality saying as often as possible: ‘My will for you in this case is for YOU to decide on your own!’”
Want more practical advice on mobilizing your teens to share the gospel? All of our Mobilize stories offer great ideas for training your students and building a Gospel Advancing Ministry. Sign up here to receive this free, hands-on, resource in your inbox!