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Home > 2013 > February Online Only > Should I Stay or Should I Go? (Part One)

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When considering the church in Fort Worth, my immaturity took over. I found it reassuring that a sizable congregation with a fully developed ministry actually wanted me. I thought about all the good stuff that comes with being a senior pastor in a healthy, respected church, but I didn't wrestle with the many responsibilities that the position entailed. I think that was the source of my uneasiness.

2. Listen to your gut.

A second thought: pay close attention to your gut instincts. Intuition is a powerful, yet underutilized tool in decision making. I'm a facts-and-figures guy by nature. I list pros and cons. I weigh the evidence when charting the future. I'm not wired to rely on something so subjective and intangible as my feelings when making life decisions. Some people are and they do it well, but not me. Even so, I have learned to slow down when all the objective facts point in one direction yet my insides remain in turmoil. A churning gut is announcing, "Apply the brakes!"

3. Be sure of your decision.

Third, you must be convinced of your decision to stay or go, regardless of outside pressures. The telephone call to the chairman of elders was one of the most agonizing I have ever made. I had given every indication that I was coming despite many opportunities to back out. My decision affected so many people at two churches and plans had been set in motion in both ministries. Still, I could not quell my uneasiness. Regardless of the inconveniences to others and the agony of my own embarrassment, I remained where I was until I was sure the time had come for me to go.

Excerpted from Saying It Well: Touching Others with Your Words (FaithWords, 2012).

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Related Topics:ChangeDecision MakingDiscernmentFuturePlanning
Posted: February 25, 2013

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Al Negron

February 27, 2013  11:00am

I deeply respect Pastor Swindoll, and have enjoyed his wisdom for decades. However, this process seems based on emotions/feelings, not scripture. I have always had difficulty with discerning God's will, and no matter if the results are good or bad, I never really KNOW. Does anyone out there know what I mean? I have always felt like my feelings are broken, and not a good barometer for decision-making. I know some of the Word, I pray some, but nothing helps me feel like I am 100% in God's will. It also disturbs me that many are deciding God's will on an emotionally basis. Should we be doing that? What about "the heart is desperately wicked above all things - who can know it"? I wish I could resolve this issue for myself, but I will probably struggle with this 'til I see my Lord.

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