The Power Of “No” - Protecting Your Boundaries

As a pastor, we have a lot of responsibilities and people vying for our attention and a place in your schedule. We love God, people, and our job shepherding God’s people, but sometimes, boundaries get jumbled, crossed, or even worse — they don’t exist. 

 

The Power of No

For many people, it can be challenging to know how to set boundaries or say “no” to others. If you resist saying no to important people in your life, chances are you experience overwhelm. And this generates enormous stress! 

When we set boundaries and honor them by saying “no” to interruptions, we have more time and energy to put towards the things and people we love. So how do we establish boundaries and create boundaries that help us protect our work?

 

Following Jesus Example

The world has never seen a better pastor or leader than Jesus. He is our perfect example. How He dealt with and felt about people, the way He taught, and lived and loved show us how we are to live our lives. 

In Luke 10:41-42, Jesus said to Martha, “You are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is necessary…

Pastors are often tempted to juggle everything and carry the entire church’s weight without balance in their own lives. 

Jesus modeled boundaries several times during His public ministry. As leaders, let’s learn how to be like Him. We can do this by practicing healthy boundaries in relationships and saying no to protect those boundaries.

 

The Importance of Boundaries

Boundaries are the greatest gift we give ourselves in ministry. They lessen the complicated “yes” and “no” answers, and keep things from getting cloudy. Having clear boundaries is essential to a healthy, balanced lifestyle. They help everyone around us know what they can expect.

Without clear boundaries that are fiercely protected, we can’t expect longevity. Burnout is real. So for leaders who long to serve Jesus well, steady, and long-term need to set and protect these boundaries.

Saying “no” means you’re setting a limit. You’re setting a boundary, and stating that your needs and feelings matter.

 

Saying No

As leaders, sometimes we have to say no to good things so that we can say yes to great things. Choose your yeses wisely. The reason why saying no is difficult sometimes is that we are usually not conflicted about saying no to bad things—that choice is often easy and obvious. Saying no to good things, on the other hand, is hard.

 

Take your time before reaching a decision. Don’t give in to the natural knee-jerk inclination to say yes. Instead, reflect on the request, and say you’ll think about it or can have a response in 24 hours. It’s easier to politely decline the next day. 

 

Deliver your “no” with a solution. When you say “no,” you can offer another answer. Instead of thinking of situations as all or nothing, meet in the middle.

 

Start building healthy boundaries and say no so you can focus more on what God has called you to do and do it well.