Fourth: Evaluate the progress carefully and honestly

Hindsight is a wonderful thing!  But foresight is one mark of wisdom that comes with experience.  Never be so afraid of making a mistake, that you are paralyzed into inactivity.  It can be refreshing to be part of a group where those in leadership are courageous, flexible, and willing to admit that some course of action didn’t work out as planned.

  • Right from the beginning, it is wise to hold regular meetings of the men of the church to evaluate progress and speak honestly and openly about problems; real or imagined.  Those who are more timid should be drawn out to give their opinion.  Ungracious words should have no place in any discussion.  If such should occur, stop all business until the problem is resolved or it will cause greater harm in days ahead.  The ideal is unanimity.  In smaller matters, all may reach a consensus that one option is the way to proceed.  Where there is lack of unity, a decision should be postponed until further prayer and fact finding can be done.
  • Avoid making decision by voting!  It is not for the church.  It’s better to refrain from using any of the typical terminology of the world’s ways.  Instead of making a motion, offer a suggestion.  Instead of “seconding” something, state your personal view as in agreement.  The reasons are obvious.  The goal is not to have this brother or the other brother have his way, but rather for all to discover the mind of the Lord.  A wrong course of action cannot be made right even if 99% of the people vote for it!
  • Where meetings are begun with prayer and time in the scriptures, where men are gracious, flexible and open, there is sure to be blessing.
  • Another helpful tool in evaluating progress is to consult with the people of the church.  Special weight should be given to the ideas and opinions of those who attend prayer meetings as this is the primary resource available for change in the church.  Input from sisters, children, the elderly and even visitors can shed on discussions when the men meet to care for business.

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