One word that will increase your ministry impact in 2015

Can you think of the one word that can drastically increase your ministry impact and improve your life? It may surprise you.

It’s this word: NO.

Odds are there have been times where you’ve felt stretched thin, over-committed, or like a priority (family, anyone?) was getting the short end of the stick. I recently wrote a post for Innovate4Jesus on this very topic. Today I want to encourage you with some tips on how to make decisions that align with your values and priorities.

"Identifying what really matters to us eliminates choices that can distract and disappoint us."

  1. Stop saying yes to everyone and everything, so you can you make your highest contribution to the things that really matter.

    Sit down and take stock of the few things that really matter in life (God, spouse, family, career, friends, health, etc.). Each one of those ‘life accounts’ has a purpose and requires a plan to fulfill that purpose. My plan helps me identify the things I need to say ‘yes’ to, which in turn helps me know when to say ‘no’. If you need help figuring this out, I highly recommend getting some coaching from Building Champions. They understand this conversation better than anyone I know.
  2. The more choices we are forced to make, the more the quality of our decisions deteriorates.

    Simplify what you can. We’ve all experienced this principle in a restaurant where the menu is overwhelming. When presented with too many choices, we often default to what we know best or feel most comfortable with. Identifying what really matters to us eliminates choices that can distract and disappoint us. This is why In-N-Out Burger is so successful. I’ll take my burger Animal Style, please!
  3. Learn the slow ‘yes’ and the quick ‘no’.

    Before saying ‘yes’ to something, ask yourself, “Is this exactly what I am looking for?” If not, either say ‘no’ immediately or ask for some time to think about it. How many times have you said ‘yes’ to something and then immediately regretted it? For a ‘people pleaser’ like me, this is a regular — and frustrating — occurrence. I am learning how to say ‘yes’ quickly only to things that fit into the very narrow criteria defined by the life accounts I shared in the first principle.
  4. If you don’t prioritize your life, someone else will.

    Take time to identify the two to three things that make the most significant impact in your ministry and the reason why you’ve written them down. Develop a system to set aside time in your schedule to focus on those things throughout the course of the year.

‘No’ can sometimes be the hardest word to say. Getting crystal clear on your priorities and values helps you recognize when the best word you can say is ‘no’.

Do you find it challenging to give a ‘slow yes’? What are some techniques you use to avoid overextending yourself?

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Posted by Steve Caton on January 26, 2015