Watch Out for the Good-Idea Snipers

You have attended a frustrating meeting or two if you’ve been in ministry long enough. One of the most frustrating elements of meetings are good-idea snipers.

When someone floats a wild, new idea for a ministry—that’s so crazy it just might work—they raise their scope to their eye, and start firing off reasons why it won’t.

Of course, they wouldn’t say their mission is to shoot down good ideas. Usually, in church contexts, good-idea snipers have good intentions. But they tend to be reluctant to move new ministry initiatives forward because they are comfortable with the ministry where it is (snipers are usually lying down when they fire, right?).

Snipers, generally speaking, are dangerous because they hide. But their weakness is they become exposed as soon as they fire a shot.

So I’ve listed six objections that will expose the good-idea snipers in your meeting. Knowing what you’re up against will equip you to prepare Kevlar-strength responses to their illogical objections.

1. “How do you plan to accomplish that?”

This objection fails to distinguish the “what” from the “how.”

Not having a detailed plan for a new ministry doesn’t mean the idea itself should be rejected. If the idea itself has merit, it shouldn’t matter whether or not the plans are in place.

Moreover, developing the best steps to execute a good idea is often the product of group brainstorming, not individual reflection.

2. “What if …”

“What if it rains?”

“What if no one comes?”

“What if no one volunteers to help?”

Nothing derails the flow of a meeting like coming up with contingency plans for improbable problems.

“What if it doesn’t work?” isn’t the scariest question.

“What if it does work?” is even scarier, because then you will have to deal with a whole new set of obstacles of the unpredictable variety.

3. “That has never worked before.”

This statement assumes two things: One, we gave our best crack at it the first time (doubtful), and, two, our circumstances right now correspond closely to the last time we tried it.

That puts the onus on you to show what could have been done better last time, why now is the time to pull the trigger.

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Eric McKiddie
Eric McKiddie is a husband, father of three, and Pastor for Gospel Community at Chapel Hill Bible Church in North Carolina. You can follow Eric on Twitter (@ericmckiddie).

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