One of the hardest words for pastors to say is “No.”

“Will you join this committee?” “Can you write this article?” “Will you visit this person?” We think “no” but “yes” is what comes out.

“Pastor, should I marry this person?” “Pastor, should I take this job?” “Pastor, do you think I can preach?” We start saying the letter “n” but somehow end up saying “nyes.”

Here is some good advice on how to say “No.” In summary:

  • Use a neutral no
  • Be consistent
  • Explain the real reason you’re saying no
  • Don’t give false hope
  • Avoid a battlefront attitude
  • Know your triggers
  • Practice staying with no