Ministry Leaders: Try Whoa for a Change

On a recent consulting trip, a client suggested that I stay at a quaint little Amish Inn while in town. It was an honest-to-goodness family owned hotel, and they also ran a restaurant
next door.

On my way to eat breakfast, I came across an intersection with a sign that made me stop and think. Not because the sign instructed me to stop, but because it said “whoa” instead.

To me, whoa is more like yield than stop. Whoa says, “Slow down. Look around, take stock, and then go.” Whoa leaves room for thought before action.

As I chuckled at the odd sign, I couldn’t help but think about how many times I have seen leaders throw up stop signs that squash team enthusiasm and adversely impact God-given progress in their ministries. Instead, when another team member wants to advance, a good leader will gently pull on the reigns before moving forward.

Hasty stop signs in leadership can:

  • Demotivate your team
  • Discard good ideas
  • Derail growth

But saying whoa instead will allow you to:

  • Appreciate team members
  • Assess every option
  • Adjust your plan

So practice yielding to the great ideas your team generates, even if they seem crazy at first. After all, aren’t God’s biggest plans the ones that feel a little out there?



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12 thoughts on “Ministry Leaders: Try Whoa for a Change

  1. I agree with you Kerry. Leaders who always show the stop sign over their team members will also stop the growth process, ideas and suggestions will be buried and better plans will not be pursued.

    – Blake Carlisle

  2. I love the quote, "Whoa leaves room for thought before action."
    I hate it when someone calls me on a bad decision PRIOR to even making the decision. It makes me feel like they didn't think me capable of coming to a good/better conclusion on my own.

    Thanks for this.

  3. Nobody has yet mentioned the fact that that sign is HILARIOUS. I would bust a gut if I came across something like that. Props to the photographer for capturing the goofiness of the situation. But also for capturing the serious side… with the looming body of water beyond. Something about the unsafe waters of the Baptism through Christ. We DO want to stop and take stock of the risks, and the rewards, of plunging into such an unsafe life in Christ. But because the sign said "Whoa" instead of "Stop" or even "Danger", it left the option to proceed ahead into the glory, while acknowledging the inherent risks. Maybe we're now better prepared for the unknown… Many metaphors, well presented. Good job team!