• Our hope-filled future is bound up in sharing the story of Jesus, in discipling others, in bringing those disciples together into communities of believers, and in developing and releasing those believers to create other communities... till Jesus the King comes again!

Miss trust

Decision making may not be an easy science, but we can grow in our competence in regards to the various decision making approaches. Several of you suggested tools that are available to help us get needed training in the different ways to process decisions in groups or individually. The real sticking point, however, comes when we start talking about the context or the atmosphere in which decisions are made, particularly when a decision is made where one doesn’t have a ‘vote’.trust sandy

Trust has a major bearing on the context created.  Trust means that I give or grant you the right to influence my life and work.  I don’t do that quickly necessarily, but once I give you my trust, I know that you will act with my best interests in mind.

However, because we are often more self sufficient than other centred, we can chafe under decisions made by others.  We don’t like it when others ‘make decisions for us’ or ‘in our place’.  Our words and thoughts at that moment often communicate that my world is no larger than myself; that though I may speak about accountability, I am ultimately believe I am accountable to myself alone.

This stance runs counter to the biblical call to community.  Yes, community implies sharing of tasks and responsibilities.  However, it also implies that others may be making decisions for the group because group members have chosen to ‘trust’ that person to lead the group well.

When we ‘miss’ trust, we can end up doing everything ourselves.  We can hold back from sharing responsibilities with others.  We can become islands unto ourselves that ‘bump’ into each other at meetings rather than deeply intersect with one another’s lives.

Trust takes time to build, but it begins when we simply say to another: “I trust you.  I know you have my best interests in mind.  I will be a Christ like follower, bringing my best part to the work of this group.”

2 Responses

  1. Yes, trust is fundamental; however, respect must be added to trust. Leaders earn trust by demonstrating over time that they care more for those they lead than they do for themselves. Leaders earn respect by making wise high quality decisions that are communicated with humility.

    I have observed that wise leaders also understand that to the degree they stifle feedback from those they lead to the same degree they breed hostility. One of the key decisions leaders need to make is knowing when and on what level to make decisions on their own and when decisions should be made as a community in a climate of openness and interdependence.

  2. Thanks Ed for this reminder! I just write a blog post from TJ Addington where he discussed how leaders can encourage or discourage feedback. The building of trust and respect comes in part through a willingness to hear constructive feedback (that is not a personal attack) and demonstrates respect for the leader as well. It’s a two way street as I have noticed that leaders can demonstrate a lack of respect for followers as well as followers demonstrating a lack of respect for leaders by the way they share their feedback.

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