In ministry it is difficult to know when to ask for someone’s participation, and when to refrain from asking. It is easy to overload someone who is always “available” and those who do things well. At the same time, involvement is essential to spiritual growth and part of equipping for ministry is facilitating involvement, for everyone.
I came across the following quote in Rory Noland’s book The Heart of the Artist which addresses this conundrum.
“As a music director at a church, I really struggle with this because I don’t want people to burn out but I still want to provide meaningful and fulfilling ministry opportunities to artists. So there’s a tension there, a fine line I try to walk. Over the years I have erred on both sides. I have asked one too many times, and it put someone over the edge. On the other hand, there are times when I have tried to protect someone’s schedule by not asking that person to sing or play, and found out he or she was hurt because I didn’t ask. If we could all work on setting healthy boundaries, leaders wouldn’t need to second-guess or coerce, and artists would feel the freedom to say yes or no. When I approach someone who has healthy boundaries with a ministry opportunity and they say, “Thanks for asking but I just can’t do it this week,” I don’t feel bad for asking and they don’t feel bad for saying no.”
Authentic healthy relationships include healthy boundaries. How are your boundaries?