Light is the dominant biblical image of Deity. Seeking the light, living in the light, and sharing the light is our calling as followers of Christ: "God is light and there is no darkness in him at all" (1 John 1:5).

Jesus said to the people, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t be stumbling through the darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.” (John 8:12) And as leaders, we must seek all the light God gives us if we are to capture the best for our ministry.

While we desire for the light of God to illuminate every aspect of our lives, it is often sin, selfishness, silliness, or stupidity that makes leaders want to shield new ideas from the light of day. In side stepping the light of evaluation, leaders not only become ineffective, but their secrecy collides head on with their calling as Christians.

Fresh ideas are exciting to leaders to bring into the room, but they must also have the humility to offer up their ideas for scrutiny. In doing so a leader protects their own ministry from oversights and creates in it a safe place for the best ideas to be nourished and flourish rather than remain stilted by the darkness of possessiveness.

While it is tempting to leverage your position to hustle your “flash-of-genius concept” into effect quickly, that may be the surest way to dead-end yourself as a leader and sidetrack your entire ministry. Leaders will be most effective when they assure that their ideas can withstand careful examination; they must learn to welcome, rather than fear, the scrutiny of new ideas.

Good decision-making comes to a screeching halt when ministries tolerate a dysfunctional organizational climate that limits examination of new ideas. Good leaders have learned to develop both the process and the courage to assure new concepts will be fully evaluated and exposed to the light of scrutiny.

Roger Parrott is President of Belhaven University in Jackson, Mississippi. He is the author of The Longview: Lasting Strategies for Rising Leaders (David C. Cook). The second post in this two-part series is here.