My wife used to work in the marketing department for a large construction company. This company did a great job of celebrating and affirming people and therefore people liked working there! The church on the other hand stinks at celebration and affirmation of staff and volunteers. I am regularly appalled at how we treat people who have given years of there lives in service to the church when they retire or leave the staff. We do not publicly affirm volunteers who gave tirelessly in efforts to do incredible things for the kingdom.
So how can we create an environment of celebration? Well, here is what the construction company did. Anytime, you felt someone had done outstanding work, gone the extra mile, or had surprising results, you gave them a brick. It was a virtual brick that you sent by email affirming that persons work, but everyone in the company got a copy of it so that all could affirm them. One of the staff members kept track of the number of bricks someone earned and they could be turned in for gift certificates to go to lunch extra. I must say that I loved it. It created the space for people to affirm each other and celebrate success and rewarded them for it.
Why don’t we celebrate and affirm each other more in the church? We have not created an environment of affirmation and celebration. Youth ministers can make working at the church more fun by doing this! There is no reason that you can’t send out an email letting affirming and celebrating others. You may be able to talk your pastor into making it some kind of official celebration thing like the bricks. One pastor, I worked for went for giving them a “hand.” You sent an email out when you wanted to give someone a “hand” for doing a great job. It was cheesy, but worked. It encouraged everyone to get out of their silos and take notice of what each other was doing.
Take the responsibility for building into your staff meetings a time of celebration. By celebrating others, you will be affirming their call and hard work. You might even get affirmed and celebrated in return.
What are other ways of creating celebration and affirmation on church staffs?
This post is #1 in a series of 6 posts on having more fun while working at church. 5 Things that make Church Work More Fun was the initial post.