The Bible speaks so much about the need for faith. Jesus was moved by people's faith. The book of Hebrews contains the Faith Hall of Fame. It's pretty obvious from the Scriptures that we are to be men and women of faith. However, the bible talks A TON about wisdom in our lives. There's an entire book of the Bible about wisdom. The entire Old Testament contains DOZENS of stories that give us a picture of what happens when God's people don't make wise decisions in their lives. If you think about it, the book of James in the NT is more about wisdom than it is faith. James talks A TON about making good decisions in our lives and applying wise actions to our faith.However, here's the challenge: I have tons of conversations with Christians and Christian leaders who are always asking me to pray for them because they're "stepping out on faith." However, I don't have near as many people ask to pray for them as they seek counsel, study God's Word for the answer, or that they will exercise good judgment and prudence in their next decision. However, I believe if there's anything the Bible teaches, it's the fact that faith must always be balanced with wisdom. Making GOOD, CONSISTENT decisions with our lives is just as important as "risking it" in God's eyes! I believe that the Bible teaches us that faith, not balanced with wisdom, is not faith at all. It's foolishness; so I have made it a priority in my life, my ministry, and in my church to make my decisions on a daily basis, not just on faith, but faith, BALANCED WITH wisdom. Before I make a decision:
- I seek counsel.
- I surround myself with outside perspective, even professional consultants.
- I learn from others that are farther ahead than me.
- I gather data and information.
- I crunch and analyze the numbers.
- I run it through the grid of my spouse, my team and leadership.
- I ask myself: "Now based on the data, What do I feel like God wants me to do?"
- I jump. Because the outcome is still uncertain!
Because of this informal process as part of our DNA at Mountain Lake, I'm happy to say that our church has NEVER had a train wreck in our church history. We have a great track record within our community and and our church. Have we taken risks? Yes! Have we always made the right decision? NO! Have we failed? Yes! Have we moved forward when the numbers didn't coincide? Yes! But as a whole, we have made GREAT DECISIONS. We have been consistent. We've made our yes, yes and our no, no. We've done everything we said we would do. Every goal we've ever set has been accomplished. And I think we have tons of credibility in our church as a leadership team because we have just consistently make good decisions with people's resources. I believe that honors God. Because we've balanced faith with wisdom. Make sense?