The Adviser Principle

Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed.

Proverbs 15:22 (ESV)


How do I know God’s will? That’s a question we all ask in a variety of circumstances. One principle of discerning His will is found right here in Proverbs 15:22 that’s quoted above. I’m so thankful for the practical wisdom Scripture gives for decision making.   When I face big decisions or am facing difficult problems I look to the counsel of others. I don’t hesitate to look to wise and trusted advisers.

My first and foremost adviser is my wife, Connie. She has been a source of great help and encouragement over our married life. She is the fulfillment of another proverb, Proverbs 18:22, He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the LORD.

            I’m also grateful for certain “go-to” advisers I’ve had over many years. It’s no secret by now that I have a special friendship with Tom Anderson, now retired from pastoring Strong Tower Fellowship, who mentored and discipled me when I was fresh out of high school. I also have other family members and friends who I trust to give wise counsel.

How do I choose an adviser? For me, it’s a mix of relationship, Christlike character, and wise actions I’ve seen in their own lives. By God’s grace, I hope I can provide similar counsel to others as I grow older.

            God has designed His Church to operate according to “the adviser principle.” This is why we have a plurality of elders. The church is not a dictatorship. As pastor, I have one vote among seven total elders. I’m grateful for this as it gives confidence in decision making and draws from the collective wisdom and gifts of others. Our deacons make decisions as a group as well.

I’m very grateful for the adviser principle. I don’t know where I’d be without it. It’s been a tremendous blessing and help. I would encourage you to put it to good use yourself.   Having trouble finding advisers? Realize that God put you in the church to give you resources for finding them. Take the first step and reach out to someone you believe could give wise, godly counsel. Pray and ask God that through such conversations He’ll provide the wisdom that He promises to give generously according to James 1:5.