3 Reasons Why “No” Is Important to Your Vision

Steve Jobs famously said, “I’m as proud of what we don’t do as I am of what we do.” He was ruthlessly focused as a leader. Many of us have a difficult time saying “no,” but leaders must do so for at least three reasons:

1. Lost Focus

With all the devices and all the technology, we are plagued with multi-tasking. While many insist it does not impact their ability to concentrate or do well in their jobs, research has shown that multitasking impacts our performance more than smoking pot… yeah, dude. Just as multitasking harms an individual’s performance, it impacts the performance of a ministry or organization. Focusing on too many things means you do not do any of them well.

Leaders who are comfortable saying “no” are leaders who understand the value of focus. Leaders who are comfortable saying “no” are crystal clear on their mission and priorities. If leaders do not say “no,” the team loses focus. You cannot do everything well, so to make the biggest impact – focus is essential.

2. Divided resources

Every “yes” requires investment, which is essentially a “no” to something else. Instead of making a big impact in a few critical areas, leaders who cannot say “no” spread investment thinly over a plethora of opportunities and give none of them the opportunity to flourish. Every time you say “yes” to something, you are – in essence – taking potential resources away from something else. To resource the most important, leaders are wise to starve the unimportant of resources.

3. Scattered Energy

Just as there are a finite number of resources, there is a finite amount of energy. If a leader never says “no,” energy is scattered across too many opportunities and impact is greatly reduced. A team that is passionate about everything is, therefore, a team that is ultimately passionate about nothing.

The reason leaders must constantly say “no,” is that a barrage of opportunities will constantly come the way of leaders. There is always something new, shiny, and exciting. If you want lost focus, divided resources, and scattered energy – then say, “yes” to every opportunity that comes your way.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Eric Geiger

Eric Geiger serves as the Vice President of the Church Resource Division at LifeWay Christian Resources. Eric received his doctorate in leadership and church ministry from Southern Seminary. He is also a teaching pastor and a frequent speaker and consultant on church mission and strategy. Eric authored or co-authored several books including the best selling church leadership book, Simple Church. Eric is married to Kaye, and they have two daughters: Eden and Evie. During his free time, Eric enjoys dating his wife, playing with his daughters, and shooting basketball.

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In this era, we have the opportunity of professional church staff today who utilize their gifting to shape the image and atmosphere of the church organization. But the 100% real impact on the church visitors is genuine evidence of changed lives by the gospel and the active growing discipleship (just as it was in the first century church). One demonstration is financially rich believers ministering equally together with poor believers (how odd, and incredibly miraculous; all humble and bow at the foot of the cross.). It is the awesome contrast of church members vocations, race, gender, age, maturity, gifting, humility that demonstrates to visitors "there is a Spirit in the place". That first-time guest list of 10 are "physical excuses", not spiritual excuses. Those don't tell the story. The condition of facilities and publicly greeting people have zero to do with it. The power of God in and through believers lives dedicated to impact other people with their relationship bridge-building of acceptance of the lost around them. Empowered believers are infectious, loving, helpful, giving, self-less, dynamic, compelling, bold, Christ-filled. As I have been in many church settings domestically and internationally, the facilities can be poor, and yet the fellowship can still be rich. We need to operate with first church humility. People come to Christ on His terms, not on our human abilities of hospitality. A huge catastrophe in a community, disaster relief brings lots of people into churches – many come to the church in those terrible conditions no matter the physical condition of the local church. Off the condition of facility, and onto the condition of God's people (living stones).... and everything else will grow.... and the other physical issues will be corrected by the staff.
 
— Russ Wright
 
"While I understand the intent behind this phrase" Expound please. What do you understand to be the intent behind that phrase?
 
— Ken
 
Thank you for this article! I'm the pastor of a small church. My gifting is in teaching and we are known for aiding Christians in becoming Biblically literate. Visitor's often comment on God's presence being very real in our services. But we just don't seem to be growing. I have some soul-searching, etc. to do and this article provides some solid ground from which to proceed. Thank you again.
 
— Jonathan Schultheis
 

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