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Maximization: The church and its ministers and ministries operate at optimal levels of effectiveness and efficiency

Two Questions That Should Be Addressed in Decision Making

Decision Computer Key Represents Uncertainty And Making Decisions OnlineIn the “5 W’s and 1 H Method for Decision Making” we examined a process for thoroughly analyzing any decision. Another relatively quick and simple approach for producing a comprehensive and in-depth analysis for decision making is to address the two questions that should be answered before making any decision, What Is? and What If?

Both questions are helpful in predicting the potential outcomes of your decision. Addressing the question What Is? deals with potential repercussions and What If? questions deals with potential contingencies.

What Is?

The What Is? question refers to the realities and potential repercussions of your decision and encourages a robust thinking through of the consequences of each potential action. Here you want to measure impact on all the parties involved, the organization, and the mission of the church as well as the result of any decision on quality, quantity, cost and time. Examples of What Is? questions include:

What is the cost?

What is the benefit?

What is the impact on……..?

What is the time required?

What is the risk-return relationship?

What is going to happen if we don’t make this decision?

Examples specific to the decision of whether or not to launch an additional Sunday morning worship service might include:

What is the cost of additional musicians?

What is the impact on parking?

What is the impact on staff?

What is the impact on the greeter ministry?

What is the benefit of adding an additional service?

What is going to happen if we don’t add another service?

What If?

The What If? question refers to the contingencies that should be considered with any decision. A contingency is generally defined as a future event or circumstance that might arise from your decision. Addressing this question helps you think through possible road blocks, potential problems and the law of unintended consequences. Examples of What If? questions include:

What if the people involved change?

What if the resources change?

What if the circumstances change?

What if the outcomes of the decision are worse than anticipated?

What if the outcomes of the decision are better than anticipated?

What if we do?

What if we don’t?

Examples specific to the decision of whether or not to launch an additional Sunday morning worship service might include:

What if more people than expected show up?

What if less people than expected show up?

What if we can’t recruit enough musicians and greeters?

What if this service overloads the middle Sunday School hour?

What if 15 minutes isn’t enough transition time between services?

What if we can’t find the necessary funding?

Areas of Potential Application in the Church

The What Is? and What If? analysis questions are particularly useful in decision making related to:

  • Programming
  • New opportunities
  • Calendaring and scheduling
  • Policies
  • Organizational restructuring
  • Polity change

Conduct this simple two question analysis to insure a better foundation of information on which to base your church’s decisions.

 

 

 

 


Posted on October 4, 2016
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Jim Baker

Jim is a Church Organizational Leadership and Management Coach, Consultant and Trainer. Throughout his career Jim has demonstrated a passion for showing Pastors and Ministers how to use organizational tools for church and personal growth and health.

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“For I may be absent in body, but I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see how well ordered you are and the strength of your faith in Christ.” Colossians 2:5