Every healthy organization needs several people in order to make it. You need a visionary leader…someone who can visualize the future and cast a compelling vision that people will follow.
You need some strategy people that can take the vision and create the road map. These are the question askers, Excel users, and dry erase board filler-uppers.
And you need implementers. People who are actually going to do all the work in accomplishing this amazing feat. Implementers don’t want to talk about things, they want to do things. How many more of these useless meetings are we going to have…let’s just go do something.
One of the down sides of being a visionary is that by the time things start happening, I’m usually on to the next thing. Because I’m so far ahead, it’s hard for me to pay attention to what is going on in the here and now.
During the months leading up to Easter of 2009, I believed we needed to prepare for 1,500 people to show up for church. The problem was that we were meeting in a movie theater, and even with the four services we were currently doing, that many people wouldn’t fit.
We decided to put a giant tent in the parking lot and hold two services. By the time Easter weekend came, we’d been planning the services, coordinating the schedule, and working out logistics for months.
It turns out that about 1,600 people showed up that Sunday morning. But I had played out the event so many times in my head, and communicated the vision and the expectations to our staff so often, I forgot to celebrate the win.
I have never understood the post-game interviews with the coaches. Has any coach ever said anything informative or ground-breaking in one of those interviews?
Reporter: Coach, how did you feel about the win?
Coach: It was a solid team effort. I was a little worried about the turnovers, but everybody did their part and it was a good win.
Reporter: You’ve got Denver next week. How do you feel about your team’s chances?
Coach: Yea, they are a good team…they have a good defense. We’re going to celebrate this win on the plane and then we’ll get to work tomorrow on that.
It’s really the same interview over and over again. It just cycles around like the holiday fruit cake.
I’m tempted to be like those football coaches who are happy about the win for a few hours and then drive everyone to prepare for the next opponent. The reality is that we need to take more time to celebrate wins. We need to take more time to tell stories of life change. We need to hit pause for a few minutes and relish the victories.
After all, the Bible says that the angels in heaven celebrate over just one sinner who crosses the line of faith. I’ve never been to heaven, so I can’t effectively comment on the schedule up there. It seems like there would be a lot going on. Random angelic singing. Peter telling some story by the pearly gates. Moses talking to Charleton Heston about the Red Sea.
But if all of heaven can stop to celebrate, then surely we can too.