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Learning to say no is an important survival skill for ministry. People will ask you to do all sorts of things. because you’re nice. You’re in ministry! How could you say no?
This will suck your life away if you’re not careful. We must defend our own borders.
Of course, most of us in ministry ARE nice, and want to say yes. We find it hard to say no.
If that’s you, then 43 Folders has a great post on the alternative to saying yes or no. It’s the “qualified yes.” It’s basically yes with defined limits. Their example:
So, what used to be “Sure, I’ll do your web site” is now more often “Sure, I’ll give you 10 hours and 3 calls over the next month to use however you want.” If nothing else, it helps everyone understand that time is a precious commodity, but it also gets me out of being the de facto manager for every aspect of a project I touch.
Try it. Can you proofread my paper? Yes, if you email it to me by 4:00.
Can you lead VBS for 3rd graders this year? Yes, if you can find me an assistant and manage on Thursday when I’m gone.
HT: Pastor Hacks
About the AuthorMark Warnock is the founder and General Editor of Seminary Survival Guide.com. He serves as Associate Pastor of First Baptist Church of Columbia, Illinois, and is a Ph.D student in Christian Philosophy at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is working with Ed Eubanks on a book on how to survive seminary.
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