Learning Through Collective Counsel

Learning Through Collective Counsel

Pastor Vincent - 27 November 2021

Weekend Devotion: Learning Through Collective Counsel

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Recently, our church has a coworker’s meeting. It was a very blessed and productive one. More importantly, I think it helps everyone learn something new about each other, and the way each other thinks and does things. Through the meeting, many loose ends are tied and responsibilities delegated. Of course, whether it materializes into action remain to be seen, but above all, it’s really how we receive counsel from the Lord through such meetings.

 

Now, in a church or any organizational settings, when numbers and demands grow, we tend to see things become disorganized. And this is when people start making decisions or do things individually. Sometimes, in order to get things done quickly, decisions are made recklessly. Or on the contrary, if leaders are unsure and sit on the problems, decision making get stuck and nothing move. Now, moving recklessly or not moving at all are both detrimental to the church. We must avoid both scenarios.

 

There are however also instances we think that some leaders are competent, and we tend to rely on them to make decisions for everything while every other coworker refuse to put on their thinking cap. Now, such can be a very unhealthy situation in a church or organization where leaders, no matter how competent can be stricken with fatigue or end up making bad decisions. So God in His Word has provided us with a remedy in such a situation, and it is called “collective counsel”.

 

As (Pro 11:14) says:

 

For lack of guidance a nation falls, but victory is won through many advisers.

 

Now, I believe what this verse is trying to say is that God reveals His wisdom through collective counsel. No one should be smart in his own eyes, no matter how smart or experience he is. Rather he must trust the wisdom of collective counsel. This is especially so for the church, where God has distributed part of his wisdom to every coworker, such that when every part is put together, it becomes complete. If such collective counsel is not achieved, increasing demands from the church will put a toll on church leadership and we will see leaders end up firefighting and make wrong decisions. It was the case with Moses where he almost suffered a burnout while managing the whole assembly of Israel, till his father-in-law, Jethro told him to appoint leaders over all Israel to share the judiciary responsibilities with him.

 

Sometimes, there are believers who believe that spiritual leaders should just pray and hear from God in every decision making, and they happily demand that of their leaders. But God did not approve of such a belief, because Man, no matter how smart are mere man. They are full of limitations and there are countless problems that cannot be resolved by one man alone. And man, being biased, tend to make mistakes by assuming the wrong thing, leading to wrong decisions.

 

As (Pro 16:25) says:

 

There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death.

 

Sometimes we can be so sure of ourselves without realizing that we are living with the wrong assumptions. As a matter of fact, everyone of us has our blind spot. So with more advisors, it is a great opportunity for us to seek understanding instead of holding fast to our own view of things.

 

As (Pro 18:2) teaches us:

 

Fools find no pleasure in understanding but delight in airing their own opinions.

 

So when things are brought before collective counsel, it is important to open our ears to others instead of sticking to preconceived fixed ideas.

 

So my brethren, I’ve made the case for collective counsel here.

 

But after receiving collective counsel, as leaders, we must be quick to grasp the wisdom brought forth by collective counsel. Sometimes, there are leaders who stubbornly refuse to change. Or some leaders could be too used to the way they perceive and do things, and thus did not get the broader perceptive. Or there are those who fail to perceive what is demanded of them. One of the worst things that could happen is leaders continue to keep doing or manage things the same way though it has been proved to be ineffective in the past. Of course, I think it takes time for us to turn from our old familiar ways, but I believe the new way of the spirit does help us to perceive things creatively and effectively. Especially if we have received collective counsel, it is important to seek new understanding to the order and dynamics of things. We must discard the old familiar ways that doesn’t work.

 

If the way we deal with people hasn’t been working, we need to reexamine the way we have been dealing with them. Or if the way we execute tasks reaps very little results, we need to review processes. Things must change. If not, the same problems will repeat itself.

 

 Now where the church is concerned, if we leaders have taught the gospel well, people serves with pure motives. So first, we should not doubt the motives of servers. Rather, we treat one another with respect and honor them for their willingness to serve.

 

Next, we must also seek improvement in all areas of our ministries. No improvement means stagnation. And my brethren, we must never let the work of God remain stagnant. Yet, we must also recognize people have different gifts and abilities. Therefore, we must learn to garner and appoint people to serve in their best capacity. There might also be those who need to be given a push to take up more challenges. So this is where we need wisdom and tact. But let us go to the Lord for help and not be afraid to deal with difficulties, whether it is with the tasks involved or the managing of relationships. The power of the gospel not only makes us effective witness for Christ, it also helps us tackle difficult situations and people with wisdom.

 

If we obey the Lord in facing the required challenges, we will be deemed as faithful, and trusted by the Lord with greater things. 

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Pastor Vincent Choo
choochisan@gmail.com

Vincent is the Senior Pastor of The Life Church and Missions (Singapore) and is an ardent missionary to the Chinese World. He currently lives in Singapore with his wife, Qiufen, and has three kids, Mary, David, and Caleb.

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