the new “no”

What do you think of this statement? “No response is the new ‘no’.” Here is what I mean: When you ask someone for something or request someone to get involved in a particular thing and you hear nothing back from them…you can assume that the answer is “no.” Apparently it is no longer necessary to actually say “no”. Saying nothing at all will suffice.

Our church staff experiences this frequently. My daughter, Jessica is a missionary and has to search for churches in which to raise support. From what she tells me, it is very common to receive no response at all from Pastors. Voicemails and emails remain unanswered most of the time.

I know I have been guilty of this. I get a message from a salesman or a band or an itinerate preacher who wants to be invited to come to our church. It is always uncomfortable to make that return call. I’d rather not, but I try. Putting myself on the other end of that call, I would rather hear a “no” than to be left hanging.

I just wanted to post this as an encouragement to leaders. People deserve to be treated with respect. It doesn’t feel good to be on the receiving end of a “no” response, but it sure beats being left hanging.  We realize it is difficult to do. But go ahead and respond – with a “no” (assuming your answer is not “yes”).  You will feel better and the person you are responding to will feel better.  And then they can move on to the next person they need to ask.

4 Replies to “the new “no””

  1. Thats too funny and yet consistent with why they teach salesmen to “ask for the order”. People dont want to be rude, and will usually say yes; however in your case, they duck out.

    So…I guess that means you need to put them on the spot and ask them directly for their support. Guess I won’t be sayin hello to you for a while, ha!

  2. This is very true. it becomes a nuisance when it comes from someone we know. I suppose we grow to expect honesty from those that care about the things we care about. No answer at all feels like a personal disregard for the relationship. Even though this seems to be the new way of doing business, it is inconsistent with the believer’s personal commitment to truth. Grace has taught me to allow people time and opportunity to be honest in a way that is fair to everyone involved. Thank you for sharing!

  3. We do so want to be liked, don’t we? I suppose we think that using that little two-letter word is one sure way of diminishing our likeability. However, using the “new no” can make for some very awkward meetings later on and can actually harm relationships.

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