Some people say no.
It’s a cold, hard fact of recruiting people for ministry. Some folks choose not to engage the opportunity you place before them. And, truth is, you should be glad they did.
The ability to say no is a bit elusive to many of us. Fear of letting someone down or causing them to view us negatively gets many of us into personal schedules we can’t manage or assignments we don’t have the ability to fulfill. These stresses ultimately take their toll and start affecting other areas of our lives. In the end, our lives aren’t fulfilling and our ministry experiences don’t deliver on the promises made when I was recruited.
Saying no doesn’t always mean I’m selfish. It may mean I’m focused–focused on things like being a better husband, dad, or giving my best to the assignments I’ve already said yes to. Saying no may mean that I already see my square-peg reality hovering over the round hole you offer. Saying no means I will risk a negative moment now in order to sidestep a lot of them later.
When someone says no to your recruiting effort, be careful what you think of them. Unless they lash out with a string of hurtful words to send you back from wherever you came from, they probably aren’t rejecting you. As John Maxwell has said, “Your yes never means yes, until your no means no.” If everyone said yes, you probably have several who should have said no.
When you get a yes, you want that to be a passionate, enthusiastic yes. Guilt might land you a few agreements, but it will never build a healthy team. Just as God wants a cheerful giver, you and your church really need cheerful workers. Don’t settle for the other kind.
Here’s a few reasons to accept the unwanted no:
- Not called to this ministry.
- Disconnect between assignment and ministry gift.
- Doesn’t have a heart for the ministry.
- Too busy.
- Unwilling to meet expectations.
- Expresses inappropriate motives.
- Lacks a servant’s heart.
- Not qualified and you don’t believe you can mentor them.
- Wants to serve by has short term obstacles. Be willing to wait.
- Not sure or not ready to commit. You have probably mistimed the request for commitment.
- Fearful to the point of paralysis.
Even if you suspect some other motive is really at work, these are responses to accept. If you don’t, and you keep pushing for a yes, you’ll soon end up with a difficult situation to manage.
If no one can say no to you, it’s likely that no one is really saying yes. Those who learn to accept a no, will more likely create an environment where they’ll begin to find the kind of yes responses they really need.