At this time of year I feel like I am constantly at an event celebrating something – the photo is from the Graduation Dinner at C3 College – the traditional lift photo you take on the way up to the venue with the students, in this case the gorgeous Charlotte – it was Monday night and it was very festive. We had a Last day of College event and we have a Graduation service on Saturday night followed by a staff College party on Sunday Night. We have definitely celebrated the end of College.
And so we should. Whenever some-one achieves something – we should not rush by it. But we should stop and enjoy the moment. We should celebrate with them – Ecclesiastes encourages us to rejoice with those who rejoice .
The size of the achievement should determine the proportion of the celebration. For this reason at the end of a College year we do multiple celebrations people have had a significant transforming experience and so we need to mark the event properly. If we rush past it we also devalue the work God has done in their life at College.
We need to find out what is the best way to celebrate. The party, the dinner, opening a bottle of champagne is fantastic but some-times it requires more thought.
Sometimes the best way to celebrate with our team is to give them a day off when they have worked really hard. After every conference or big event we take time in lieu. A day to recoup and recover, a different kind of celebration that values the sacrifice of time that has been made. It rarely covers all the time – it does allow for a pause and reflection on a job well done. It also allows for rest and recovery – essential for running this race.
Too often in church life , especially in churches with big vision , we launch for pulling off one huge event to the next without stopping to effectively debrief and then celebrate. What happens then is that people feel devalued and they burn out.
The debrief is also crucial – what did we do well, what could we do better, what did we learn – all questions that need to be answered. People need to be heard as well – their viewpoint is invaluable. (will write a whole blog on this I think)
Running onto the next event may seem like the overwhelmingly urgent thing to do. However if you want to have team that is happy and healthy for the long-term – pause, celebrate and debrief.
As some-one who was celebrated this year on two continents just for reaching a significant age, I know how incredible it felt to have people communicate that they value who you are what you have done.
Life in ministry can be so intense and full – but I see Jesus going to weddings, eating with people and celebrating the holidays ! When he was born it was celebrated with a star, angels and three wise men with expensive gifts.
Go out of your way to find things to celebrate and life will be festive and the people you love will know you value them !!
What do you celebrate that you would like to share with everyone?
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