Sometimes we need to say “no”

Posted: April 24, 2014 by efenster in Ideas, Resources
Tags: , , , , ,

IMAG0045I just read an article by Gary McIntosh entitled “Saying Yes.”  It provides guidance on how to create a healthy church culture that empowers laity, including laity who feel called to launch new ministries.  The title, however, got me thinking about a thought I had the other day after watching a video on “Slomo” by the New York Times.   Slomo is a former doctor who said “no” to the rat race and pursuit of money.  He said “yes” to spending his senior years in-line skating along an ocean beach.  After listening to this man’s story, I was struck by the power of saying “no,” and how freeing it can be.

This is true for churches too.  The book entitled Simple Church, by Thom L. Rainer and Eric Geiger, speaks to this.  Saying “no” can help a church maintain its focus on its mission and vision.  It can prevent a church from wasting, or defusing, its limited energy and resources.  In the Fruitful Congregation Journey, a church revitalization process used in the Indiana Conference, churches are encouraged to actually conduct an “audit” of its ministries, making sure all the church does–its activities, ministries, and events–are aligned with its mission and vision.  Those church activities that are not aligned are to be adapted to better fulfill the mission and vision or be discontinued.  The church says, “no” to continuing them.

So, there are times to say “yes” and times to say “no.”  Sometimes saying “no” will be the best thing you can do if you’re truly serious about where God’s calling you to go.

— Ed Fenstermacher, Associate Director of Church Development

P.S.  To get a guide to help you audit your church’s ministries, contact Ed at



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s