top of page

A Simple Yes or No Will Do: 3 Impacts of Clearer Communication

When was the last time you said maybe? kinda? Ish? Sort of?

I confess: I use ish a lot. These words are the lukewarm version of an answer. They are neither hot nor cold. Let’s discuss the power of a simple yes or a no. Scripture says “Most important, my brothers and sisters, never make a solemn pledge—neither by heaven nor earth, nor by anything else. Instead, speak with a simple “Yes” or “No,” or else you may fall under judgment.” (Matthew 5:36-37).

Imagine if we said yes or no instead of the wishy-washy words that leave room for interpretation, judgment, uncertainty, and error.

Church leaders need to be clear communicators. Clear communicators use simple language. Here’s how simple language will improve your leadership:

  1. Better feedback. People want to know where they stand with you. Using prompts such as “yes, you did that part well” or “no, there are ways to improve how we do x such as ___. What are other ways?

  2. Articulate tensions. You’re either for it or against it. Well, that’s not always the case. Often we perceive both pro and cons. Even naming those is helpful in creating clarity. Tensions are real. They are not like the words that opened up this article. Grow to allow and name some tensions in your ministry and relationships. They cannot always be resolved quickly. You may need to live with them for some time.

  3. Prioritizes next steps. Saying yes is one thing but prioritizing the next step related to that yes is another. For example “yes we are going to make changes in the kids ministry over the next year.” Or “yes, I agree with the premise but not the action.”

These examples, while they speak to the simplicity of yea and no, they also offer up nuance. Ministry is complex and it’s our role as church leaders to simplify as much as possible.


Actions Brings Clarity

Consider a challenge in your ministry. Write out simple yea and no statements related to it. Practice saying them aloud.



bottom of page