Monday, October 22, 2012


There I was in a fast food restaurant.

The workers were scurrying around like ants.  Counter people were taking orders.  Food preparers were busy squirting condiments, wrapping burgers, and dipping hoppers of fries into scalding oil. Some of the personnel wore headsets, talking to invisible people in the drive through and running back and forth between the window and the "food is ready" station.  It was all very efficient.  Run it in slow motion with a little chamber music, and it would have looked like a carefully choreographed dance routine.

I woman behind the counter (I deduced that she was a manager) walked back and forth between the drive up window and the screen that the workers look at to track the orders.  She glanced back at something else and then announced something to the crew.  I couldn't make out what she said, but suddenly the staff let out a collective cheer.  Food workers were high-fiving, counter staff had energized smiles on their faces, and everyone seemed to work a little faster and a little more efficiently, and a little....I don't know, happier.

Later, I found out what had happened.  There are standards as to how fast orders have to be filled, especially in the drive through.  The manager discovered that her crew, on average, was accurately filling the orders for the drive through faster (by a matter of seconds) than the standards.  She shared the news and everyone, whether they were directly connected with the drive through or not, shared in the excitement and accomplishment.

When leading teams of fellow servants, whether you are a children's pastor, director, lead teacher (or any other position in the local church for that matter), it pays huge dividends to share the victories.  A spiritual victory tends to encourage and energize.  You might say, "Hey, everyone, Lori shared the gospel with little Kenny in class today and he professed his faith in Jesus!"  Suddenly, everyone is pumped up, whether they have any connection with Lori's class or not.  Or maybe three more kids visited your program this week.  That's something to cheer about.

Not all victories are so obvious, so it's up to you to look for things.  "Hey, the deacons said we could use the left over paint for the classrooms!"  "The air condition is working again!" "One of our moms brought us donuts just because she appreciates what we do."  Sometimes, it's the little things that bring the most excitement.

Of course, there needs to be balance.  The key to this is do it often enough that it provides the shot-in-the-arm that your team needs, but not so often that it produces a little sigh.  But if you make it a point to share and celebrate the big and small wins together on a regular basis, you'll inject some renewed energy and enthusiasm into your team.

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