When Not to Say No
Summing it up friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things “true, noble, reputable . . . the best, not the worst.” Philippians 4:8
“There will be no Sunday school next Sunday.” As I read these words, I wondered, Why not?
We live in a negative world with daily news of wars raging around the world, and violence at home, work, and in our communities. The word no finds its way into government agencies, classrooms, sports events, and creeps into our churches.
When visiting different churches, I’ve seen negative signs lurking inside and outside of the building: “No entrance,” “No parking in front of the church,” or “No right turn.” I’ve thought how “Enter at next driveway,” “Reserved for first-time visitors,” or “Exit to your left” would be more inviting.
Years ago I went to a seminar about communication in the church and learned how no can have a negative impact when printed in newsletters and bulletins. “No church school next Sunday” might make the reader think the church doesn’t take the children’s ministry program seriously. It is better to provide the answer in advance: “Church school will be in recess next Sunday due to the special worship service for families.”
I’ve seen no shouted in announcements by being printed in bold letters, emphasized with italics, underscored, and made larger than the rest of the words. NO!
It is okay to use the word no in the church, as in: “No, we won’t accept no for an answer!”
Lord, help us support your ministry in a positive way. Amen