Why Aren't We Promoting More Ministries & Programs?

July 2, 2024 Mario Villella Organization

We wanted to take time to explain why we, as an organization, do not get involved with every single good cause that is presented to us, especially in regard to what we do in our Sunday morning services. This is important because some people have a difficult time understanding why a church would ever say “no” to any good cause.

Why would a church say “no”?
For some people, this just seems like a no brainer. If No Child Hungry* has an initiative, our church should be involved, right? I mean, we don‘t support the idea of hungry children do we? Of course not. We‘re Christians.

And then when the Teens-in-Temptation* have an event, we should promote it, right? I mean, we don‘t want to be supportive of teenage temptation do we? Of course not. We‘re Christians.

And when Mending Marred Marriages* wants to do a workshop here in Ocala, we need to round up some volunteers to help them. I mean, we don‘t want marred marriages, do we? Of course not. We‘re Christians. These are all things we should support!

Now you might already see the problem with the previous paragraphs, but believe me, there are some people who don‘t understand. And when a pastor or elder says, “We are not going to get involved in the Teens-in-Temptation* event,” some people look at him like he just said “I hate all the teens.”

Four reasons why a church would say “no”:

1. Limited resources. This is actually the same reason that you do not say “yes” to everything that is asked of you, too. But for some reason, people can understand why their immediate family can‘t get involved in every opportunity presented to them, but fail to see why their church family can‘t. However, it is important to understand that a 500-person church probably receives about 100 times more requests for ministry involvement compared to a 5-person family.
2. It‘s not exactly “the church” saying no. This is a tough one to get, but it is important theologically. There are times when a group of people (let‘s say it‘s 10 people) who attend our Sunday morning services want the rest of the congregation to get involved in the ministry that they love. What they don‘t realize is that even if we say “no” to making an announcement for them during our Sunday morning services, that doesn‘t mean that “the church” is not involved. The church is the people. The fact that 10 people from our church are involved, means that our “church” actually is involved in that ministry.
3. The line has to be drawn somewhere. We‘ve had so many people ask us if we‘d please promote ________ from the platform during our Sunday morning services. And we‘ve said, “No, we don‘t do that on Sundays; we typically don‘t do anything on a Sunday that we wouldn‘t do for everybody.” The only exception in all the years we’ve been a church has been Share the Love (and their associated camps for kids in foster care.) We've tried very hard to keep Sunday mornings focused primarily on worship and Bible teaching.

At this point, we realize some people might say, “Well, I know that you can‘t say yes to everybody. But I‘m not asking for you to say yes to everybody. I‘m just asking you to say yes to me. Haha. Yes, we know. But that‘s how everybody feels!

Some people will further respond with, “Ok, great. But why can‘t you make one more exception for just one more ministry – my ministry? You don’t have to add a bunch more. Why can‘t you just add one more?”

The answer to that is: “We could add just one more. But what would that do? That would only satisfy that one person (or group) that is asking. What would we do when the next request comes in? We’d be back in the same position we are now, disappointing everyone else. And that‘s the point. We can‘t say “yes” to everyone. The line has to be drawn somewhere. And, at this time, we‘ve chosen to draw that line at Share the Love Camps.

4. You may actually love this and not realize it. I believe that many people have not ever thought about the consequences of what would happen if we changed our position on this. We believe that you have been blessed by our continual use of “no,” but you just don‘t know it.

If we changed our policy on this, we’d get request after request from more and more ministries wanting to set up a table in our lobby or wanting to make an announcement during our services. Eventually, the Sunday morning services would become an announce-a-thon-ministry-showcase-recruitment-fair.

However, I believe that many of the very same people who wish we‘d promote their ministry from the stage on Sundays, would complain about how much time in the service it takes up, when everyone else is doing it. They may grow weary of the constant lobbying. (I know I sure did in previous churches that did it this way.)

This has been the way the Good News Church has interacted with this issue since 2012 (when we first sponsored the summer camp.) So, this article is not really written for any one particular person. This essay is simply the most recent version we have as an answer to this very common question. We do hope this explanation helps you to feel better about this. And even if it doesn‘t, we hope you‘ll put up with us anyway.
Note: All terms in this article designated by asterisks are fictional ministry names used solely for the purposes of illustration. Feel free to use “Teens-in-Temptation” if you want to start a new youth organization. As far as I can tell, that one hasn’t been taken yet.
The person who wrote this article. Find out more information about them below.
Mario Villella

Lead Pastor / Elder

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