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When to Speak Up

October 14, 2013


Seth Godin is fast becoming one of my favorite bloggers. His keen insight and straight talk, while not particularly aimed at Christians, makes a ton of sense when working “behind the curtain” as either a lay-leader or a staff member in a local Church. Below is a post he made just a few days ago that should really speak volumes to many of us. Take a gander!


“This plane is headed to Dallas. If Dallas isn’t your destination, this would be a great time to deplane.”


After a decision is taken and the organization is moving forward, it’s fun and easy to be the critic, the rogue and the skeptic. Easy because the chances that you will have to actually take responsibility for your alternative view of the future are slim indeed–the plane is already headed somewhere, it can’t go both places and you missed (or bungled) your chance to change the decision.


No, the time to speak up is before the decision is made, when not only do you have a chance to change where the organization is going, but you have the responsibility to deliver on your vision.


We don’t have time to revisit every decision our organization makes. We merely have the time to do the best we can to execute on what we’ve already committed to do.


Rooting for your team to fail is as bad as it sounds. Even if you said early and often that this path was a stupid one, that this destination makes no sense–if you’re on the plane, if you’re in the meeting, if you decided to play the game–then once the journey starts, your job is to get us there, safe and sound.


And then come to the next meeting with a better plan about the next decision.


All I can say is, well… Yep. As Christians we are called to do better than rooting against each other. Ephesians 4:3 [NIV] says “Make every effort to keep the unity of the spirit through the bond of peace.” The English Standard Version of the Bible says we should be EAGER to keep the unity of the spirit! When change happens, how many of us are eager to keep unity if we don’t necessarily agree? Ouch… One of the marks of great leadership in the Church is a group of leaders who work it out behind closed doors, yet emerge united… even if they didn’t agree on everything before the decision was made and the door to the public opened. Seth states, “We don’t have time to revisit every decision our organization makes. We merely have the time to do the best we can to execute on what we’ve already committed to do.” That means once the decision is made, we can’t second guess ourselves. It might fly, and it might fall on its face, but that was the decision and we have to stand by it publicly! Lay-leaders, staff members, Elders, Deacons, Pastors…  speak up and speak out before the decision gets made, but be willing to support it in the face of opposition when it goes public. Be EAGER to keep unity within the leadership, for a united leadership quickly unites a whole Church body.

Oh Father, that we would grow tired of bickering and infighting; that we would speak up before decisions are made, and be willing to commit to eagerly keeping the unity of the spirit through the bond of peace. May Your desire for unity be our desire as we prayerfully discuss the plans we believe you’ve placed here for us to follow, and may we be united with You and with each other. Amen.


To see what other nuggets of wisdom Seth Godin has to offer, check out


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