As leaders, we like to be resolute. Firm. Forward-moving. So when we feel uncertain about an agreed-upon direction, it can be tempting to ignore it. But unpacking the unsettledness will pave the way for an even better future.

Years ago I became unsettled about a significant ministry decision we’d made months prior. I had two choices: 1) Remind myself why we made the decision in the first place and carry on, or 2) Delve into my doubts and see if God was laying out a new understanding. With God’s grace, I chose the latter. I wrestled down thoughts about waffling as a leader, prayed through my concerns about the decision, envisioned a new scenario, and talked to close associates. We agreed God was indeed giving us a new understanding.

How to Navigate Unsettledness

1. Acknowledge it. As I’ve said, it’s tempting to squelch your doubts about a decision that’s already been made. Besides feeling like you’re wavering as a leader, you’re asking your team to invest time into rethinking it. But owning your uncertainty is the first step toward determining if it has merit.   

2. Pray about it. Your unsettledness is coming from one of three sources – the Lord, the enemy, or your own self-doubt. As you talk with God about it, He’ll either quiet your concerns or confirm them.     

3. Unpack it. Pull out pen and paper if needed, and begin to sort through your doubts. List them. Categorize them. Do whatever it takes to identify the sticking points. Doing this will pinpoint the main problems with your current direction.

4. Envision the new. Prayerfully contemplate a revised version of your current direction or perhaps a complete change of direction. The same God who stirred the issue in your spirit knows the pathway forward.

5. Seek counsel. Run your thoughts past trusted associates – a small, confidential focus group or a spiritual advisor for your ministry. Outside perspective will shed additional light on the new direction you’re discerning.

6. Garner your team’s input. As key shareholders, your leadership team and board will have the deepest understanding of both the current decision and the prospective new decision. Lay out your thoughts and listen closely to their responses. Through prayer and discussion, shape the new direction together. 

If you’re the senior leader at your ministry, God will often entrust a burden of unsettledness to you. It’s His way of saying, “Hey, this thing is off a bit. Spend more time with Me and your team to find My way forward.”

At our ministry, we’ve learned to tune into each other’s unsettledness. Even though it can be frustrating when one of us raises a concern, we’ve learned to hit the pause button. More often than not, when we talk and pray about it God provides a course correction. We’ve learned when we’re feeling unsettled, it’s God’s way of prompting us to press in for His best.

“When you feel unsettled, it’s God’s way of prompting you to press in for His best.”

- Lisa Hosler

How do you handle it when you’re feeling unsettled about a ministry decision you’re responsible for? Feel free to share your thoughts in the Comment Section below.

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