I woke up on Monday to hear that the Washington Nationals had signed Max Scherzer to a 7 year deal. I am an Atlanta Braves fan, so this announcement did not go well with my morning coffee.
As I listened to all of the MLB Network analysts dissect the deal I quickly noticed a common theme. They spent an inordinate amount of time discussing whether Scherzer was worth the money and how his signing was going to create problems for the Nationals! Problems?! They just signed one of the most dominant pitchers in the game and added him to an already amazing pitching staff!
It was amazing at how little was celebrated for Scherzer and for the Nationals.
I was convicted by this realization. In my personal life, I do not “stop and smell the roses” and I have noticed that churches typically do not either. Churches spend huge amounts of time, energy and money on mission projects, new outreach initiatives, youth mission trips, etc., but often times do not celebrate the victories along the way and at the conclusion.
The quick answer is that “We are on to the next thing.” I get it. However, if we do not take time to build in celebration to the overall planning of church initiatives your people will eventually burn out. We have to thank people (in special ways; not just in the bulletin) and we HAVE to connect the dots for people on how this initiative is helping us fulfill out God-inspired vision. Without the connection, people can’t understand the significance of the event and its results. If they don’t understand, they are less likely to volunteer in the future and are less likely to give dollars to support these type of initiatives.
A great way to intentionally celebrate victories of the previous year is through the annual statement to be sent out each January. Learn more on how to turn your annual statement into a ministry celebration.
Here are a few simple ways to dig deeper into the discussion on celebration: check out one my previous blog posts on celebrating generosity; interact with me on Facebook and Twitter; and download this free e-book on how to celebrate and thank your congregation for their generosity.
So, does your church know how to celebrate? Please share comments or a video of celebration at your church. I’m sure we would all love to hear about it and see it.