A friend told me recently he overheard a co-worker saying, "Just because we work together doesn't mean I have to like you." Really? How can we be pulling together, working for the same vision, attempting to achieve the same goals--if we are only tolerating each others' presence? And do we think the people we serve are automatons and won't pick up on the tension?
A senior pastor once told me that his attitude about his staff was, "I don't want to be your friend. Just get your d*** job done." And he couldn't figure out why he had a high turnover rate.
It isn't just a job. It's not just about fulfilling a responsibility. It is also about doing life together. It is about having fun, working through conflict, accomplishing ministry, and yes--being highly effective in our jobs.
At Granger, we value chemistry and affinity as high (if not higher) than education, skills, experience and passion. And that is why we intentionally plan time to have fun. In the old days when our staff was much smaller, we would all hop on the shuttle bus and go to a movie, or out to eat, or miniature golfing. These days, much of that happens in a decentralized fashion.
For example, our communications team recently headed to a nearby town for an IMAX movie, our children's team experienced a high ropes course together, and the arts staff gathered for a family pool party and cook-out.
The affinity doesn't grow on its' own. It must be nurtured with intentionality. It is worth an investment of time and money on "fun" to build a culture where your staff is energized and committed to each other for the long-term.