Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Unwritten Rule 2 - "I can't" is Better than "You can't"

What of the times, dear reader, when it isn't just a matter of someone wanting to do something foolish, but they also expect you to be a part of it? For example:

Member: Pastor, I want to have my dog be the ring bearer at my wedding in the Church.

Now... what to do? Do you simply say, "You can't do that, you daft fool, this is God's House?" Well, you can... but then you've upset poor member because little Sparky's heart will just be broken if he's not in the service.

Here is what you say.

Pastor: I'm sorry, but I can't. I'm not supposed to bring animals into the worship service.

See that this does - it doesn't pin the "blame" or "foolishness" on the person asking (besides, unless they are intentionally trying to be insulting do God and His House, why blow them up? They might not be thinking things all the way through - oh well. That's part of the reason why you are there) - but it puts the focus and emphasis upon you.

See, while people want to do things their own way, they do understand that Pastors are held to a higher standard - so if you say "I can't" they will understand that this is a matter of a higher standard, and because you are involved - then oh, yes, of course there is a higher standard involved.

It teaches reverence where you (and by extension Church) is involved. It bears up your neighbor's burdens gently. It directs and guides. These are all good things.

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