Don’t Say No For Someone

One thing I have noticed in the lives of pastors and those who are on church staff is a fear when it comes to volunteers and delegation. I understand where it comes from and appreciate it (because I used to feel the same way), but there is also a lot of danger in it and a robbing of our churches.

It goes something like this. A leader in a church has a need, a role that needs to be filled. They have someone in mind who could fill it and do it very well, but they don’t ask them. It might be because they think the person is too busy, that they will say no or that they won’t want to do it (most leaders normally feel this way because we assume that if we don’t like to do something every person on the planet also dislikes doing those things).

What happens then is the leader says no for the person without giving them a chance to say yes or no. Would that person say no? I have no idea and neither do you.

I hear from many pastors though who feel guilty for asking people to give their time in building the kingdom. I understand this sentiment as people are incredibly busy. But I think this also says something about our theology. If all Christians are given spiritual gifts and will one day make an account to God for how they stewarded those gifts, it is our job as leaders to help them develop those gifts and use them (Ephesians 4). When we don’t challenge people, make the big ask of them to step up, we are robbing them of becoming all that God wants them to become and we are keeping them from using all the gifts and talents that God gave to them.

I remember talking to a mentor a few years ago about this fear I had of asking people to get involved or get more involved and he looked at me and said, “Don’t ever say no for someone.”

So, I started letting people tell me no instead of doing it for them. What is has done is required me to trust God more when it comes to leaders and the holes that our church has, it has forced me to make some big ask’s of people and cast vision to people, but God has also had people step up in ways that I didn’t expect them to do because “I didn’t say no for them.”

The Joys of Pastoring #5: People Getting the Mission

A few weeks ago I did a series of posts on the weight that pastors carry. I thought this week I would focus on the joy of pastoring, as there are many.

Joy #5: People Getting the Mission.

Closely tied to seeing life change is seeing people get the mission and sacrifice for it.

Every week, I am blown away by how hard and dedicated our volunteers are at Revolution. Many of them putting hours in every week to make Revolution happen. People who show up on Fridays to set up for church, who show up at 2 on Saturdays to prepare, to practice, all so that people can find their way back to God.

Everything that our volunteers do free up everyone else to do what they do. I am able to do what I do because our volunteers put in the time that they do to free me up.

When people sacrifice financially for the mission, I am humbled. When people sell stuff to give the proceeds back to God, I am humbled. When people cash in savings to give back to God, I am humbled.

When people give their time, money and efforts, that is buy in. That means people get the mission.

When people show up at 8 am to set up road signs so people can find their way to church, when people stay late to clean up, to pray with people, when people take time out of their week to lead a group and to shepherd and care for people, that is buy in.

You can’t force it, you can’t guilt people into buy in (at least buy in that lasts). When people get it and the church does what the church is supposed to do, as a pastor, it is the greatest joy. To see it, to be a part of it, to lead it, makes it all worth it.