Opinion Polling

Anyone who has an ear should listen to what the Spirit says to the churches. – Revelation 2:29

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What is the most significant key to good church leadership? Is it saying the right thing or rather listening to the right person?

Generally, it is better to listen than to speak (or at least to listen BEFORE you speak), but beyond just taking the time to listen, good leaders must also be sure they are listening to the right people (or person). So … to whom should church leaders be listening?

This may be where the greatest errors are made in the local church today and I believe it is a negative intrusion of our culture into God’s model of how things should work. In politics, leaders often make decisions upon the polling data they receive. In other words, they sample their constituency (probably those who voted them in) and lead in a way that will keep them in office. We see this same application when church leaders poll church members (listen to them) and then make decisions based upon what they believe will keep the church “happy.”

Seven times in His seven letters to the churches of Asia Minor, Jesus said that anyone who has an ear should listen to what the Spirit says to the churches. He never said that we should listen to the churches. Church leadership should look to the Word for direction and then to the people, but always ask, “What has God said?” The only opinion that needs to be polled is His.

We are fallible. Churches are fallible. Christ alone is not.

There is no such thing as public opinion. There is only published opinion. – Winston Churchill

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