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.
We are hearing from numerous youth ministers that during this season their plate is just too full. Caring for others is a ministry staple, but often it comes at the expense of caring for oneself. Self care for the Youth MInister is so important. If you don’t take time for yourself and your own relationship with God, not only will you suffer, but eventually your students will too.
We’ve created a Pandemic Youth Week curriculum bundle that combines elements of both a summer camp and a youth week. Many youth are missing out on both of these due to cancelled camps and trips among other cancelled important events your youth would usually attend. We’ve written this curriculum such that it can be used in person while socially distancing, online, or some combination of both.
Despite all the challenges the pandemic has presented to youth ministries, it has also created an opportunity to allow youth more involvement in worship. Although youth sunday will look very different this year, it is a great opportunity to empower our youth to be leaders. Youth’s comfort and familiarity with technology make them a great resource for churches who are seeking to move their worship services online for the first time.