How to say 'no' well for Churches, Ministries, Missional Communities, and missionaries.

If your purpose is to keep your ministry focused, the most important phrase you can master is ‘no’.

Make no mistake, mastery is required. We have been trained that to be told ‘no’ means that one was wrong. Yet focus is often not lost by following things that are wrong, but by following good things that un-willfully extend our purpose.

One of the difficulties in being missional is staying focused. Your community may attract people whose ideas have been passed over in a more institutionalized church. The question to investigate with them is, ‘How might your passion for ________ help God fulfill the purpose laid our for our community?’

The key is to invite them into the discernment process, chances are God will use their passion in your community. If not, then God has likely been already revealing this to them.

Photo Credit:  GViciano



People thrive within the boundaries they construct to understand the chaos and confusion that is the life around them. As Christians we are no different, but with the thrust to interpret divine reality our constructed realities easily become self-serving, vicious, and abusive.

One of our most critical jobs is to dissect how and why we’ve constructed our world with the hope that we might be able to see through our protective cocoon to a reality that is often dark, cold, and hard to grasp. Reality is a fickle friend who smiles upon us while scheming our demise. This is my world, and my need for hope.

Photo Credit: FelixHuth



In a visual world it is second nature to count, collect, and compare what is seen. It seems natural to desire more and from a young age we do. We believe that 72 crayons are better than 12, even if we only use 6. We compare important things too: ministries, callings, follower, and bank accounts.

Yet God only asks us to be faithful. To walk the steps of on our own dance. Yet many of our moves we learned by watching those around us, and loose our partner in the process. Faithfulness is often un-noticed, trite, and hard.

Photo:  zabaraorg


Why I Don’t Care about your Calling

There’s excitement as people discover, discern, and accept their life calling. Yet if life were a single day this would equate to little more than putting on a single sock. You have not yet reached the door, and have the majority of the real work ahead.

With this perspective we can accept our calling as a critical step for putting on our shoes before we head out the front door to impact the world. As long as we remember that the world has not yet changed, and our love not yet felt.

What we must care about is faithfulness.

Photo: Trinity