Home > Christianity, Church > Harnessing The Power Of No

Harnessing The Power Of No

I’m going to let you in on a little secret.  It’s not one that I let everyone in on, but for the most part we are all old friends here by now.  I hope you won’t think less of me, so here goes.

I kind of like musicals. The first one I ever recall seeing was Guys and Dolls while I was at 4-H camp way back in the day.

You know, like some of the old Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals that were made way back before I was born.

One in particular came recently.  In Oklahoma, Ado Annie is beginning to “grow up” and is receiving attention from men.  Her response to the attention that is suddenly thrust upon her is that she is a girl who can’t say no.

Too often we are much like Annie.  We are people who can’t say no.

I’ve seen it time and time again in church.  I’ve been a victim of it.  I will be asked to do something and I say yes.  I’ve seen dozens, if not hundreds, of people now who simply can’t or won’t say no when asked to perform a task, do a job or take on a ministry.

I’m not suggesting that we go in the opposite direction and say no all of the time.  There are plenty of those folks and this is why many of us feel like we can’t say no.

We think that if we don’t do it, who will?  This task will go undone.  Some well-meaning, and maybe not so well-meaning, folks might even try to lay guilt trips on us, cajoling us into adding something else to our plate.  The problem is that too often we take on so much that we soon have multiple plates.

The result?  People doing jobs in the church that they aren’t gifted for.  Folks are working ministries that the pastor or someone else has called them to do, not the Lord.  Members become stressed out with everything they now have to do.

How do you combat it?


It’s that simple.  Harness the power of no.  I don’t mean to use it flippantly.  When you are asked to do something that is so far out of your wheelhouse that you can’t see straight, just say no.

I’ve done this.  In certain circles, you will get strange looks.  Some people will wonder what your problem is.  They will think you aren’t dedicated or committed to the church.  Explain to them that is the furthest thing from the truth.  You might actually be doing them a favor by saying no.  In fact, if they can’t find anyone gifted who wants to take this one thing on, maybe they don’t need to be doing it anyway.

Harness the power of no.  For the good of the church.  For your own good.  It will make a huge difference in your life.

Are you a person who can’t say no?  Do you take on too much and get over-stressed?

  1. November 18, 2013 at 8:33 am

    I used to be one who was so much of a people-pleaser i couldn’t say No. then I realized for my own sanity I had to. Now I don’t.

  2. November 18, 2013 at 1:47 pm

    Yeah, I struggle with this. Getting better. I hope.

    • November 19, 2013 at 5:20 am

      Rob, I know you have said you are a people pleaser. I bet it can be difficult. I’m sure you have figured out that you need to the further you go along with Next Level.

  3. November 19, 2013 at 3:52 pm

    Oh, don’t remind me! I’m bad at saying “no” however, I realize that some things I have no problem saying “no” to and other things are not so easy to resist. For me anything that has to do with ministry is really hard to say “no” to.

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