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3 Tips to Presenting New Ideas to Elders

3 Tips to Presenting New Ideas to Elders
Oct 06 Tags: ideas | 3 Responses Print Save as PDF

You have a good idea, a really good idea. Not just something that popped into your head, but something you really feel the Holy Spirit has laid on your heart. It could be anything from starting a Bible study, to a kids club or some other ministry you would like to see happening in your church.

So you go to ask the leaders about it and get your idea rejected. This leaves you licking your wounds and wondering why nobody around here listens to you! Here are a few suggestions about how to get those things done in a Christ exalting way.

1. Take the bulk of the responsibility

Often believers get a cold shower on their ideas because they present them the wrong way. Most Christians respect the leadership in their church, otherwise they wouldn’t be there, and they want to let the leadership know that they want them involved in what they want to do. But this often sounds to the elders or deacons like “one more thing for me to do.”

It’s important when presenting an idea to the leadership that you make it clear that you will be responsible for the idea that you have. Of course you want their input and oversight, but remember that your burden is yours, you don’t want to lay it on someone else to do.

2. Talk to other Christians first

Talk to other believers who might be able to help you before you present the idea to your leaders. This Christian might be one of the elders or deacons. Whoever they are, talk to people to get their feedback and suggestions about what you want to see happen.

I was once asked to talk to a group of elders from another assembly about an evangelistic outreach some of my friends in that meeting wanted to see happen. My friends warned me that these elders shot down almost every suggestion about outreaches. So I met with my friends, developed a detailed plan of what we wanted to do, we then typed up a document that was clear, detailed, and concise.

When I presented this to the elders at a meeting they were very excited. They saw that we were serious and had a plan. They offered a few suggestions that we gladly welcomed and the outreach happened! The reason other ideas were getting the wet blanket was probably because they weren’t as detailed and organized enough for these elders to take seriously.

3. Pray about it

This is so elementary to any Christian you would think it barely needs to be stated, but it does. We often think we know what the Lord wants before we have really asked Him. We might pray telling God what we want to do, which is usually a good way to get God to laugh, but we never spend real concentrated time seeking the Lord’s will.

The more we pray about a burden the Lord has given us, the better direction He will be able to give us on how to get what He wants done through us and His assembly.

Mike Donahue

Mike lives in Prattville, Alabama with his wife Danielle and three little children, where he works as a high school English teacher. They attend Central Bible Chapel, just outside of Montgomery. Mike is particularly interested in evangelism. He spent two years with the Good News on the Move team and he and his wife spent two summers with the Cross Canada Cruisers. Mike enjoys speaking to youth and people of all ages about the good news.

3 Responses to 3 Tips to Presenting New Ideas to Elders

  1. James

    Nice work, my brother. I might reverse the order…pray…discuss with other Christians…take responsibility. Maybe even:

    1. Pray
    2. Discuss with other Christians
    3. Adjust accordingly
    4. Pray
    5. Discuss informally with an elder
    6. Adjust accordingly
    7. Pray
    8. Present idea with willingness to take responsibility for the heavy lifting involved in the implementation.
    9. Pray.

    But nine steps are harder to sell then three. So, there you go.

    Again. Thanks for the good content.

    • Mike Donahue

      I like your order! I wasn’t thinking of these as a subsequent order when I wrote this, but I see your point. I agree that we should always pray first, middle and last, and anywhere else in there.

  2. Mike Klomp

    I really like the suggestion about coming with a plan. Elders get many thoughts, inputs and ideas but a committed and planned initiative that is prayerfully and humbly put forth is the responsibility of the person that the Lord led in this way. Elders are confronted with more than just the commision that the Lord gives, but with shepherding the flock with considerations that the rest of the body does not see. Many times the people that are the most gungho with ideas, thank the Lord for each one, sometimes are their own worst enemy in workload. Sometimes big hearts mean neglected families or jobs or even just spreading themselves too thin. Elders love for the Lord and the flock means looking deeper. All this said I encourage humility in coming to the elders with ideas, knowing that it is the Lord’s battle and will be His victory in ministry as it was at the cross, it may well be that the idea, well thought out and planned, becomes another;s work and not the idea bearer;s work. Look at David and the Temple. It could be the same thing for a different reason in that there could be someone else underutilized and the elder;s feel led by God to give that work to another, or that another work must come first but it is not our place to be disheartened but to be ready to serve, humble in attitude and trusting the leadership that the Lord has put in place.This article deals with our approach both to God and to the elders in a greatly pleasing way. Preparedness is so important when it comes to addressing the elders. If we treat the christian life like a battle that is bigger than us with more involved that what we understand then our patience and discernment will affect our approach, knowing we as Christians, are all on the same side, same purposes and Same Lord. Those with a heart for ministry I encourage you to Keep on moving forward with fresh ideas, energy and love for the Lord!

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