We all know how it feels when someone says, “No.” Maybe you had a good idea, or you wanted to invite a friend out for an evening and you put yourself out, looking for a partner, or for some fun, and the answer was just, “No.” I recently read an article that pointed out all the ways we say “no” in our churches. We don’t mean to, usually, but no is what happens anyway. In the article the author was making the case that we will be blessed if we create a culture of “Yes.” Yes to new ideas, yes to new people and their enthusiasm and creativity, and even yes to making new friends.
Some of the “No” answers are just built into our systems and our culture. Our committees and policies that were meant to make things work smoothly end up excluding people or simply end up in another “No.” The article referenced an interesting little book titled Just Say Yes! Unleashing People for Ministry by Robert Schnase. Schnase points out all ways, both subtle and overt, that we say “No” and encourages us to examine our systems, committees, rules, policies and attitudes, looking for the ways we might be turning people away, shutting them down, or putting their contributions on hold so long that they give up and go away.
Just Say Yes! encourages congregations to listen for the dreams, hopes, and longings springing up from the Body of Christ and to intentionally create a culture of “Yes.” If you look around St. Dunstan’s Church today, each ministry, each project, each event you see is an example of something where someone said yes. Cultivating a culture of “Yes” opens us up to new possibilities, and opens up opportunities for new people to contribute.
Yours in Christ,