“No” is an anointed word!
This phrase changed my life several years ago. I had nearly worn myself out at church. Every time a job came open and no one volunteered, I’d take it. After all, I couldn’t let the Lord’s work go undone, could I? I was spending as much time at church as I was at home, often letting my housework go undone.
An amazing thing happened just in time to rescue me. The church got a new minister, Rev. Wade Ogle. In his first sermon he said, “If you are doing a job in the church just because no one else will do it, stop. Just because you can do a job, and do it well, doesn’t mean you are one who is supposed to be doing it.”
I sat there, my mind reeling, my world morphing into a new reality. He can’t be serious, can he? After my mind had simmered on his message, I went to talk to him. He confirmed his take on this subject. I told him I wanted to resign as choir director. Without flinching, he said okay. I physically felt the load lift. I had been directing the choir for twenty years and it had become a chore instead of a blessing. I knew a little about music but was by no means a trained director. I had taken the job because no one else would. A notice was in the next Sunday’s bulletin announcing my retirement and asking for a volunteer to step up. And someone did!
Here is my wise pastor’s advice:
PRAY, asking God for direction before you say “yes.” If you are in a job and aren’t sure if you should be there, pray. If you don’t get overwhelming confirmation, give a notice and resign.
MATCH your skills and gifts to the available slots to be filled. The position you accept should be a breeze for you if you use the gifts and talents the Lord has blessed you with. If it feels like work or is a burden to you, resign or say “No” when the Nominating Committee asks you if you will keep the job for another year.
RECRUIT an assistant if your church doesn’t provide one in the nominating process. Everyone needs a break now and then, or gets sick, or has a family emergency. For those twenty years I directed the choir, I didn’t have an assistant. It becomes too much for one person to handle and burnout happens to the best of us.
BLESS the person who should be in the position by not stealing their blessing. It takes some people longer to pray and process before they step forward. If you jump in prematurely, even though God hasn’t ordained you for the job, you will steal the “right” person’s blessing. Take time to pray and give the other person time to pray.
Our church’s Nominating Committee has begun the process for 2014. I hope these suggestions will help you when you are approached by a committee member. First and foremost, pray before answering.
Going out with joy today to serve the Lord-