No one likes to hear the word no. It is one of the quickest ways to close a door on an idea, a relationship, or a possible partnership in ministry. A quick no can squash enthusiasm, plant a seed of resentment, or make a person feel devalued. The best way to avoid these culture destroyers is to lead with a yes.
As worship leaders or creative contributors, what we do is almost always under a microscope. It's not an easy job to balance the opinions (good or bad) of our pastors, teammates, and church congregation with what God has called us to do. The weekend worship experience can draw out strong opinions from the meekest of church attendees; planning services and events require passionate creativity, and implementing new processes can stretch even the most flexible of team members. The number of ways a worship ministry hears the thoughts and ideas of others are endless. And honestly, sometimes answers like “that will never work,” “no, we are not turning the volume down,” or “we can’t do it that way” are easiest when you are on the spot. However, easiest isn’t always best. The harder conversation that needs to happen to find a solution will take time, trust, and truth. But in the end, it is almost always worth it.
This is not about never saying no. No is necessary and completely acceptable. As leaders, there are some things we need to say no too. However, the space between the ask and our answer does not have to be filled with words that shut someone down or their ideas out.
Right about now, many of us are probably thinking this is crazy. I can’t always say yes. But, this is also not about always saying yes. This is about making sure we are standing on the solution side of any problem, request, or idea. And that our heart and minds and ears are always open.
Here are three ways we can lead with a yes. Listen closely; offer a solution; communicate value.
When we listen closely, we say I see you, and I hear you.
Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters:
You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.
When we offer a solution, we say I care enough to work on this together.
Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed.
When we communicate value, we say what you have to offer counts.
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
Let’s do our very best to lead with a yes—in our responses, in our conversations, in our brainstorming, and in our evaluating. If we can’t say yes, we can, at least, have an attitude of yes. We believe an attitude of yes increases the joy, the benefits, and the blessings of leading others on and off the platform.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Stefanie serves as the Weekend Producer at the Lake Forest campus. She oversees weekend services and large event details for our Worship Center venue. Stefanie believes God does some of his best work through our worship services and large group gatherings. She uses her leadership gifts to champion team health with an emphasis on clear communication pathways and robust processes. Stefanie loves serving the local church with her husband John and their two boys.