Hopeful Imagination
Encouraging Churches Seeking God's Direction in a Changing World
Young Pastors

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Young Ministers

October 9, 2014
Western NC

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A Word from Mike Queen...

“YES or NO?”

When I started out as a young pastor, it was almost inevitable that whatever new idea or ministry initiative that might be offered by anyone was usually met with a less than affirming ‘no!’ Sometimes there were perfectly good reasons for saying ‘no’. It may have been a lack of funding or not enough people to implement it. Sometimes, it may just have been a bad idea. No matter what, there was usually a voice to say ‘it won’t work’.

Because the church had become so accustomed to saying ‘no’, it said ‘no’ to a lot things that really were good ideas…things that would work, if given the chance. It soon became obvious that we needed to change that mind-set if we were to be all that God was calling us to be.

How do you change that way of thinking in a church?

How do you get to the place where ‘yes’ is the default option for the church instead of ‘no’?

For us that process required a good bit of patience…and some smaller successes. 

  • We started by saying ‘yes’ to things we knew we could do, and then we celebrated those things within the congregation.
  • We included as many people in decision-making processes as possible, especially the critics.
  • We communicated every detail to the congregation by every means possible. Transparency in everything was paramount.

Little by little, trust was earned as we found ways to say ‘yes’ to more and more opportunities. You don’t realize how often you say ‘no’ until you commit to saying ‘yes’. While it is true that ‘yes’ requires more of the church, it also energizes the church and our ministry.

It took several years, but we finally came to a place where ‘yes’ was truly our default setting.

  • When a ministry idea was offered, rather than squelch it, we sought to resource it.
  • When someone wanted to launch a new ministry, rather than limit them, we encouraged them.
  • In our preaching ministry, we claimed the notion that ‘the best is yet to be’ and reinforced it in every way possible.

While that change was years in the making, we made it; and, in turn, it changed the church. It changed those of us on staff. We came to a place where we thought we could attempt almost anything. It really was about leading with ‘hopeful imagination’.






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