The One Question the Leader Must Answer

By Justin Lathrop

Question LeaderAs a leader, each day you likely answer hundreds of questions and make dozens of decisions that affect your church, staff, family, and personal life. And as the leader, it’s often the difficult questions that land on your plate.

However, there is one question that every leader must answer to effectively guide his church, ministry, business, or family. It’s this:

“Where are we going?”

In this post, Mark Miller—author, communicator, and Chick-Fil-A’s vice president of training & development—explains why this is so important for leaders to answer by sharing what past presidents, billionaire CEOs, and mega-church pastors think about this question. It was this statement that really got me thinking:

“In the absence of strategy, every idea is of equal value.”

More than likely, your church staff does a great job of creating new ideas. But, without a strategy, you’ll never be able to fully define whether the ideas your staff creates will help you ultimately achieve your goals. And ultimately, it’s the leader’s responsibility to set the direction for every decision of the organization. Therefore, every idea should be considered through the lens of your church’s or ministry’s vision.

So, before you determine whether you should add another service, hire a new staff member, or change the order of worship, make sure you can clearly answer the question, “Where are we going?” This is the first and greatest question any leader can answer for his or her organization. Once you have it answered, every other question becomes a little easier to resolve.

What are some practical ways you can think through for setting a direction for your church or organization? How have you seen leaders use this question effectively to help answer the other questions they face?

Justin Lathrop

With over a dozen years of local church ministry Justin has spent the last several years starting business' and ministries that partner with pastors and churches to advance the Kingdom. He is the founder of (now Vanderbloemen Search), Oaks School of Leadership, and all while staying involved in the local church.

Justin is obsessed with connecting people to people and lives his life daily to make the world a smaller place. He now serves as a consultant in the area of strategic relations predominately working with the Assemblies of God, helping to build bridges with people and ministries to more effectively reach more people.

He blogs regularly about what he has learned from making connection at