How to Make a No Feel like a Yes

If you are involved with church communications, you will be required to say no.  Personally, I find that difficult. I don’t want to hurt feelings or seem like a ministry is unimportant.  But the success of our communication depends on saying no. Saying no moves the mission forward and allows people to take their next steps toward Jesus.  It also means avoiding the Cheesecake Factory syndrome of church communication.

Here are three ways you can make your no feel like a yes. 

1. Offer alternatives.

I might say no to an on-stage announcement but yes to a social media post. I may deny a request for a special bulletin insert but suggest the ministry leader make personal invitations in their small group. I’ve found that many ministry leaders are open to other suggestions; they just need someone to point out alternatives to the Sunday bulletin or an announcement from the pastor.

2. Establish clear guidelines.

This is where your communications manual comes in handy. It outlines your strategy and priorities that you can point to and share with your ministry leads.  Take the time to educate your leaders on how you prioritize communication exposure levels. If they understand the strategy, they are more likely to understand your reasoning.

3. Encourage your leaders. 

Let them know you are for them and their ministry. Ask them about their goals and offer ways to achieve them. Be available and help them evaluate along the way.

What about you? How do you say no well? 


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