Feb 1, 2012

One Word That Will Empower Your Children's Ministry

Have you ever been in an environment where "no" ruled?

"No, we can't try something new.  We've always done it this way." 
"No, we aren't going to take the risk." 
"No, I don't think that will work." 
"No, we have a rule against that." 
"No, we don't have the budget to fund that." 
"No, we've tried getting new volunteers and no one wants to serve."
"No, that would upset someone."
"No, I don't know the answer."

When "no" rules, an atmosphere of pessimism is fostered. 

 But when "yes" is nurtured, it creates an atmosphere of optimism. 

Give your team the authority to say "yes" by having "guidelines" instead of "rules."  An example would be a single mother who is late to check-in her children.  Check-in is closed.  A rule would say "no."  A guideline would see that it was a struggle just to get the kids up and dressed.  A guideline would see that she is pushing a stroller while trying to hold a diaper bag at the same time.  A guideline says "yes" we will help you get the kids checked in.
(the only exception would be safety and security procedures...those are "rules" that should be always be followed)

Saying "yes" shows your team you have confidence in them. 

"Yes" empowers your team to be leaders.  Give away your "yeses."  Empower others to pull the trigger without having to run everything by you. 

Remember a slow "yes" is more productive than a fast "no."  When someone brings you an idea, don't say "no" immediately.  Take time to think it through first.  Ask questions such as...

  • Can you tell me more about your thought process?  How did you arrive at this conclusion?
  • That's an interesting idea.  Is anyone else on board with this?
  • How does this add value to our core mission?
  • Help me understand.  How will this take us where we want to go?
  • Have you thought through any implications this might have? 
  • What will we miss out on if this doesn't happen?

"Yes" shows greater leadership than "no" does.  It shows that your team is on the same page and aligned with the big picture vision.  If they are constantly bringing you questions that have a "no" answer, then you are not communicating the vision and direction clearly. 

Teach your team to say "yes...let me find out for you" instead of "no...I don't know."  We've all been on the other side of "no" when trying to find out information.  Maybe you were in a store asking where something was located.  Or maybe you were asking for directions.  Or maybe you were asking when an event was starting."  Just hearing "no" can be very frustrating.  Teach your team to find out the answer instead of just saying "no." 

Look for opportunities to say "yes" even when its inconvenient.  Many times the second mile "yeses" can have the biggest impact.
    Posted by Dale Hudson

    3 comments:

    Great post. When I was a children's pastor, I knew that I was waaaay too quick to say "no" -- whether to parents, staff, or volunteers. I sure could have used this article about 5 years ago!

    EXCELLENT, FANTASTIC Post! Don't we represent a "Yes" God? (II Cor 1:20)I like " But when "yes" is nurtured, it creates an atmosphere of optimism."
    Try looking in the mirror and saying "yes" - you can't say it without smiling! It's so fun to say "yes". In the morning say it 10x's out loud in the car, it's invigorating! Say "no"....no smile, no fun, no friends. Thanks Dale - You're a blessing and YES, an example to us all!

    Thank you for the encouraging words. I'm going to try the 10x in the car! Takes more muscles to frown than smile, right.

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