One thing I have noticed in the lives of pastors and those who are on church staff is a fear when it comes to volunteers and delegation. I understand where it comes from and appreciate it (because I used to feel the same way), but there is also a lot of danger in it and a robbing of our churches.
It goes something like this. A leader in a church has a need, a role that needs to be filled. They have someone in mind who could fill it and do it very well, but they don’t ask them. It might be because they think the person is too busy, that they will say no or that they won’t want to do it. (Most leaders normally feel this way because we assume that if we don’t like to do something every person on the planet also dislikes doing those things.)
What happens then is the leader says no for the person without giving them a chance to say yes or no. Would that person say no? I have no idea and neither do you.
I hear from many pastors, though, who feel guilty for asking people to give their time in building the kingdom. I understand this sentiment as people are incredibly busy. But I think this also says something about our theology. If all Christians are given spiritual gifts and will one day make an account to God for how they stewarded those gifts, it is our job as leaders to help them develop those gifts and use them (Ephesians 4). When we don’t challenge people, make the big ask of them to step up, we are robbing them of becoming all that God wants them to become, and we are keeping them from using all the gifts and talents that God gave to them.
So what do you do? “Don’t ever say no for someone.”
So I started letting people tell me no instead of doing it for them. What it has done is require me to trust God more when it comes to leaders and the holes that our church has, and it has forced me to make some big asks of people and cast vision to people. But God has also had people step up in ways that I didn’t expect them to do because, “I didn’t say no for them.”
So, pick up the phone, ask that person for coffee and cast a huge vision to them and let them decide. You never what might happen.