Search This Blog

Subscribe By Email

Get Blog Posts Sent by Email

About This Blog

How to Comment on Blog Posts

The spot for the good news, the good word, the quick reports of the many, many wonderful news items I hear all the time and want to share with the rest of you. Expect to find the good news when you come to check out "what’s the good word?"

Friday, February 18, 2011


“If that is your question, the answer is No.”

That was the line in the email from the Mission Centre President. If you received that email yesterday, you know who you are. You probably didn’t hear me cheering, but I was. If only we had more of those responses what a great world this would be.

I’m following up yesterday’s “Ask” post with some more thoughts on the matter. For the most part the “ask” blog was suggesting how to ask for help or build up somebody else's skills. Or how to tap into someone else’s expertise to increase your own learning or understanding or skill in some area. For all those things my advice to clarify your question still stands.

But sometimes the questions that come to us are something like this:

  • If I’m not able to do the pre-work is it ok if I still attend the workshop?
  • Can you record your session and send it out for us to use in our congregation without actually taking the course?
  • Would it be alright to combine the two events and make one big one so people won’t have to travel?
  • Do you mind if we just photocopy the song and save the expense of buying enough music for the whole choir?
  • I’ve heard it’s easier to get forgiveness than to ask for permission. Could we use that principle for this situation?
  • If I promise to leave all my money to the church can I be excused from making a regular offering?
  • I realize you've already preached four times this week but if we invite 500 of our closest friends, could you maybe say a few words for them?
  • I know you’ve planned a very tight schedule, but if I stay until lunch time would it be alright to skip out of the afternoon session?
  • Since you’re not making any real decisions at this conference can we be excused from sending delegates to participate in one more dialogue session?
  • We're all aware that there are poor people everywhere. Can’t we just focus on the poor in our own country and let the rest of the world take care of their own?
  • I know you’re really busy, but could you handle this area of ministry for me/us?
Have I made my point? Sometimes folks, the answer is No.

Posted by Marion


  1. i liked this blog post... there are times when "no" really is the appropriate answer.

    i wonder if there are times that people ask some of the questions you listed knowing that the answer must surely be "no" but they ask anyway.

    that one about easier to beg forgiveness than ask permission really makes my skin crawl... grrrr....

  2. May I ask a question? I won't be offended if the answer is no. Would it be proper to correct gramatical errors printed in the Herald? To whom should the suggestion go? - the author, the editor? My pet p[eeve is the use of "lay" instead of "lie".

  3. Anonymous, by all means I would say the answer is "Yes"--of course it would be proper. One of the nice things about our rather small institution is that you can address your question directly to someone you can come to know. You can, of course go to the top of the list and direct your query to Linda Booth who heads the masthead in the magazine, but I'd be more inclined to go lower on the list. Pick one of the folks with responsibility as "editor" and address an email directly.
    Again, it's always easy inside the church to address emails to first initial, last name (no space)
    For example or Then, as you would certainly, be respectful, friendly and frank with your message.
    I would imagine this course of action would more likely generate a response than a typical "Letter to the Editor."

  4. It would probably be received better if the person sending it had no spelling errors in the message. Right?

  5. that would be one email I'd leave in Draft overnight and then proof-read very carefully before hitting SEND the next morning :-)
    Good luck. Let me know how it turns out.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.