One of America’s companies I’ve grown to appreciate over the years is Chick-fil-A. Not only do I like their chicken sandwich, but I also like their attention to friendliness, efficiency, and cleanliness. I also like their familiar response to a grateful “Thank you.” I bet you already know the line: “My pleasure.”
Why do you know this? Because this simple phrase is ingrained in every store associate. It is part of the Chick-fil-A vernacular. This simple repetition is ingrained into the culture of the organization. The famous saying, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast” is on display each and every time you order a chicken biscuit.
So why am I talking about chicken and the perky response you get from Chick-fil-A employees today? It’s because there is a simple ministry principle you can learn from this fast-food empire. Leaders are repeaters.
At some point, Chick-fil-A leadership made a decision that saying “My pleasure” was a kind and unique response to “Thank you.” It was repeated over and over again. Excellence on every level is expected. If getting your lunch excellently is important, why wouldn’t we make ministry that has eternal significance just as significant? Repeating the values to your ministry team and those involved helps create a culture of excellence and a culture that cares. Here are three ways you can develop the habit of being a leader who is a repeater.
1. Repeat your mission statement and core values on a regular basis. Do you have a mission statement or a purpose statement? Your women’s ministry may or may not have a distinct purpose statement, but your church likely has one. If not, let me just suggest the most obvious answer—the Great Commandment or the Great Commission. Your ministry should guide women to love God with their whole hearts, minds, and souls and love others as themselves. There should be a desire to make disciples and to make Him known to the nations. Repeat this at every leadership team meeting. Put it on the agenda. Make it so obvious that those words are anticipated and expected in everything you create.
2. Encourage women to share stories of how the mission statement is being demonstrated. Do you take time in your leadership meetings to share the stories of women whose lives are being transformed by God? Ask team members to share how someone’s life was impacted by a Bible study, a ministry project, or at an event. Hearing stories of life change is a way of repeating your values and mission over and over again. I can remember a time when church services had a regular time of people sharing testimonies of God’s grace. I’m not sure why this doesn’t happen as often, but stories of life change are powerful. Repeat them often.
3. Celebrate team members who not only can repeat your mission statement verbally, but also live it out daily. What person doesn’t want a little recognition for their efforts? If you catch someone in your ministry who is making a difference, take a moment in your next meeting to recognize what you’ve seen in her life. If possible, give her a small token of appreciation—either a gift card or small way of showing you noticed how she made a difference. If your entire team becomes “repeaters” of your mission, celebrate together with a meal or provide a new resource that will help them in their leadership development.
How are you repeating your most important values to your team? I’d love to hear your ideas. And if you’re looking for a way to celebrate your team and help them in their leadership development, bring them to a You Lead event in 2018. These one-day and two-day leadership events are designed to help women live out their passion and purpose.
Kelly King is the Women’s Ministry Specialist for LifeWay Christian Resources and oversees the YOU Lead events. Join her this year and get to know her heart for ministry leaders. Follow her on Twitter @kellydking.