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Reggie McNeal: Ask the Right Questions

Then listen to those around you—and to God himself

Good decision makers make sure they are working on answering the right question. They know that answering the wrong question, even precisely, doesn't accomplish anything; in fact, it keeps leaders and organizations tied up in counterproductive pursuits, with potentially disastrous results.

Pastor Ned finally realized that changing the worship style and moving the worship times at his church were the wrong problems for him to be working on. This realization came only after he had paid a terrible price personally in terms of the conflict generated by his new initiatives. He had endured months of criticism from church members who resisted the changes before they happened as he nurtured the hope that the new worship would draw many new faces into the church, making all the pain worthwhile. Trouble is, it didn't happen. Now, four months into the new schedule and services, he was looking at the same faces - actually, fewer of those faces.

Ned finally came to grips with the real issue: the congregation's ...

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