I'm quite fond of telling parents "'No' is a complete sentence." It gives parents a renewed sense of authority and strength.
However, I not nearly as good at realizing the same thing is true in church.
Most church leaders are like me: someone in the church has an idea for ministry, brings it to me , and even though I know it's beyond the strategic scope of what we are doing, I'll say "yes." I'll say yes for two reasons: 1 ) I don't want to quench their spirit; and 2) I don't want them to get mad at me.
Yes, I'm a chicken.
Yet the simple fact is that churches need to be saying "no" to more things. Not because we want to be spirit-quenching, negative people. But because when you say "yes" to too many ideas, you end up doing a lot of things with mediocrity.
And we're at the place where we'd rather do a few things with excellence and passion than a lot of things with mediocrity.
So we're learning to say "no" to the many things that are marginal to our mission. That way we can say an emphatic "yes" to those few things that are central to it.