When I was on staff at Highland Park Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas in the late 80’s our pastor started every staff meeting by saying, “Guys let’s celebrate some wins, what have you seen God do in your ministry this past week?” It was in those weekly staff meetings I discovered the power of celebrating wins. If you’re not including this type of celebration in some of your meetings you’re missing an important team building opportunity. Here are a few benefits:
- It keeps the focus on what God is doing. Sometimes we get so caught up in doing ministry and moving from one project to the next that we forget to stop and really focus on how God provided or worked. If there are no “God showed up” stories to celebrate maybe the team isn’t thinking big enough. Pastor Greg Surratt at Seacoast Church would joke with us sometimes after hearing our goals saying we had “THS”, which means “Tiny Heart Syndrome”. Regular celebration allows you to reflect on the big things God is doing through your team.
- Acknowledges successes of team members. Most people work really hard and give their best effort to the organizations goals and objectives. Stopping to recognize their efforts re-energizes them for the next challenge they will take on.
- Gives you as the leader the opportunity to reinforce key values. After someone shares a success during the celebration time follow up by talking about how what they shared was a visible representation of the values of your organization. So for example if Jim celebrates the development of a new leader. Say something like, “That’s great, you guys if we want to continue to expand the influence of our ministry then we have to continually reproduce ourselves in the lives of others just as Jim has done. As we find ways to develop others each of us are expanding the impact of our ministry. Great job Jim!”
- It’s a valuable way to give someone on the team greater visibility or credibility. There are times people are accomplishing valuable wins but they are low visibility wins. Celebrating in the context of a team meeting allows everyone to hear about the efforts of a team member that they otherwise may not have known about.
- It breaks down silos and strengthens unity. When team members hear each other pointing out each others successes it brings a greater level of team unity.
- It trains people to look for positive rather than negative. Some people just can’t seem to help it, they always see the negative first. While that can be helpful at times to help a team see areas of improvement, it can also be discouraging if all they ever do is point out the negative. Sometimes as leaders we need to say, “Today I want everyone to share one positive thing they’ve seen happen over the past week.” This helps the negative team member learn to look for the positive.
This Weeks Leadership Challenge: Take 5 minutes to celebrate some wins in your team meeting this week.