Four Gracious and Wise Ways for Church Leaders to Say “No”

Man thinking about a problem

Church leaders at every level are asked to get involved in everything from Amway to dog sitting. And while there is nothing wrong with any of these things, a pastor must protect their influence as well as their time. For many of us, saying the word, “No,” to someone is as painful as sticking a fork in our own eye.

Are there gracious and wise ways to say no? For sure.

  1. I’d love to help you but my schedule just won’t allow me to take that on right now.
  1. To be honest, that’s just not my thing. I’ll bet there’s someone out there who would love to do that though. I’d suggest you talk to _______________________.
  1. I know what you’re asking me to do is important but what you need done is something that I don’t have the gifts or abilities to do. I promise, you don’t want me taking this on. I’d only mess it up to the point you’d have to fix what I broke.
  1. Because of my busy schedule, I’ve had to prioritize in a big way. If I were to take anything else on, I’d have to give up the time I have set aside for my wife and kids.

Please know, I’m not suggesting that you lie. Only use these statements if they are true for you.


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