Recently I witnessed a child toss aside a book and claim with great frustration, “I can’t read. I can’t read.” After his heart-breaking proclamation, I approached him, picked up the book, and said, “You can’t read—yet.” His eyes widened and his heart opened as we read the book, sounding out each word, syllable-by-syllable. As we read the last page of the book, the boy looked at me and said, “We did it!” At that moment, I realized the power of “yet.” “Yet,” a small word, is packed with power. “Yet” gives someone hope, lets a person know that possibility exists, and provides an avenue for instruction to help someone do something she believes is unachievable.
In ministry, we encounter people with willing hearts, but have never served children or have never taught in a classroom. We’re blessed with people who may have tried serving in other ministries but have failed. We minister to kids who believe they can’t do something or aren’t good enough. As leaders, our role to help people achieve what they believe they cannot do; we can do that by unleashing the power of “yet.” When people say doubtingly “I don’t think I can do that” add “yet” to the end of their statement, and pinpoint the steps you’ll take to help them do it. Yet also works in situations when new ideas and programs are presented. When a naysayer challenges a new idea or program with “We can’t do that” or “That would never happen,” add “yet” to their oppositional statement and brainstorm ways to turn the negative into a positive. Adding the power of “yet” into the ideational mix will generate more creative options and a better idea or program in the end. Finally, when kids claim they can’t, add a big “yet” and guide them to success, making note of their incremental achievements along the way.