Every high performing team that I’ve ever experienced or led learned how to:
- Have FUN together, or
- Build COMMUNITY together, or
- CELEBRATE together or
- Do ALL THREE together, and do them well.
Here’s the reality:
- 80% of American churches are declining. Some are rapidly declining.
- 16% of American churches are growing.
- 4% of American churches are reproducing… planting churches, adding campuses, etc.
All, or almost all, have leaders who shoulder heavy burdens of responsibility.
This audience is well acquainted with the load associated with budgets, conflict, disappointments, expectations, performance, etc.
I’ve made a lot of mistakes in this arena! I’ve thought…
- “Fun” just seemed unbecoming for a serious leader like me doing serious ministry.
- Community? “We’ve got a job to get done, not sit around and hold hands!”
- Only celebrate “big” things…but we could go for months with nothing “big” to celebrate.
Here’s what I’ve noticed! Because we got Fun and Community and Celebration right often enough, we were usually able to lean into the opportunities or confront sometimes overwhelming obstacles reasonably well.
You’ve probably got leaders around you, or this is you yourself, stranded on islands of aloneness that make it next to impossible to hear the words of God for your church and put them into practice.
So, if you have:
- Staff members that get “used up” and move on every three or four years,
- Board members who count down the months to finish out their term, or
- You, yourself, not wanting to show up at the next meeting…
Maybe it’s time to try having a little fun together! Have a game night, go to an escape room, throw some axes, like the PLI team did during our Christmas gathering in 2021! (Check out the picture at the top of the blog!) Find a way to have some fun!
Here’s my guess: Your church has some opportunities out in front or obstacles in the way, but as leaders you’re reluctant to put a name on it and act on it.
It’s not as simple as unlocking the back door and letting FUN sit in, right? But, if you’ve stopped having fun together, it’s a good place to start.
Gail and I are impressed with the giftedness and dedication leaders demonstrate in PLI learning communities and the way they roll up their sleeves and go to work at the immersions and back home. But, to tell you the truth? We love to see them have fun and celebrate with and for each other and discover courage together in community.
So, would you do this?
- Pick one of your teams or boards that’s heavy on doing the task…
- Share this post with them.
- Tell them, “Let’s unlock the back door and let FUN in sometime this summer.”
You’ll be surprised what a little bit of fun might do. Seriously!