4 People All Leaders Must Listen To

More than perhaps anything else, who we listen to will determine the trajectory of our ministry.

If we listen to godly, wise, smart people who have our best interest and that of the Kingdom at heart, it will leaven our lives and ministries. If we listen to other kinds of people, we can expect a world of trouble.

The story of Rehoboam, Solomon’s son, is a case in point. When the people come to Rehoboam upon Solomon’s death asking for a work-load adjustment, his father’s advisers recommend he grant it to them.

However, he makes the mistake of asking his homies, who give him the counsel to increase their labor load and to do so with great pride. The results split Israel, leaving Rehoboam with just a small remnant of a kingdom—and a lot of pain.

Over the years, I’ve taken some bad advice and taken some good advice. I’ve given some good advice, and advice that in hindsight didn’t work out.

Yet, seeking good advice is vital to growth in ministry and the sheer navigation of life. So, it’s important to make sure we are listening to the right people.

When it comes to taking advice from others, here are the kinds of people I try to listen to:

The godly.

I don’t want to yoke my future to someone who doesn’t know Jesus or would advise me toward a course of action in isolation from the question, “What would Christ want me to do?”

Some of the worst decisions I’ve made I made when I asked someone for advice that wasn’t led by God’s Spirit. It’s the sin of Rehoboam—ask the ungodly for advice. It’s also to the disciples’ benefit that they ask Jesus how to pray.

Don’t choose to be unequally yoked in wisdom when facing a difficult decision.

The wise.

There are people who drip wisdom. They may or may not be older. They often are. Wisdom often comes from experience and maturity.

These are people who can advise me not only on what to do, but how to do it. They see aspects of the problem I might not. They look down the road for me.

Again, this is the sin of Rehoboam. It’s also the blessing of Jethro’s voice in the life of Moses. Find some Yodas. Some younger people have wisdom. However, they are more likely to have these other attributes.

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Tim Spivey
Dr. Tim Spivey is Lead Planter of New Vintage Church in San Diego, California--a fast-growing plant launched in 2011. Tim is also the purveyor of New Vintage Leadership - a blog offering cutting edge insights on leadership and theology and the author of numerous articles and one book: Jesus, the Powerful Servant.