In our culture we expect to make our own decisions. But decision-making must have a communal dimension.
First, we need the community to make good decisions. God does not have a specific will for our life that we have to somehow discover. The Bible speaks of God’s sovereign will (all things are under his control, good and bad) and his moral will (the revealed way of life to which he calls us all). Sometimes God guides in specific ways, but more often we make decisions with the wisdom that comes from fearing of the Lord and with our priorities set on God’s kingdom. The problem is we often find reasons for doing what we want to do. We need one another to help us see when our reasoning is corrupted by our sinful hearts.
Second, we should involve the Christian community in decision-making to the extent that our decisions affect the community. This doesn’t mean that the community or its leaders tell people what to do in their personal lives, but it does mean that we should:
A single person typically makes decisions without regard to anyone else. Marriage changes everything. When asked to go for a drink after work, they think about the implications for their family. Big decisions get made in consultation with the family. The same is true in the Christian family. The family doesn’t makes decisions for us. But we make decisions with our family and in the light of our membership of that family.
- make decisions with regard to the implications for our Christian community; and
- make significant decisions in consultation with members of our Christian community.