Last July I took my whole family to Bangkok to visit our daughter Jessica, who is on a 2 year teaching assignment (Grade 4) and who will be taking on a 2 year missionary assignment in Bangkok when that comes to an end.
Jessica really wanted to go to a restaurant called The Flying Chicken. I thought, what an unusual name! Must be like The Prancing Pony in The Lord of the Rings or a supposedly real pub name “The Dog’s Breakfast”- just an interesting name. Surely it couldn’t be chicken dinners flying through the air!! But much to our delight, when you order a chicken dinner, the chicken really does fly through the air. No exaggeration. I did not take this video, but it is what we saw and it is how our dinners were delivered to us!
Watch a guy on a unicycle catch five flying flaming chickens at a time! And remember, each one ends up delivered to a customer for dinner.
If flying chickens aren’t your thing, perhaps flying fish at Pike Place Market in Seattle area. When someone buys a fish, the employees first have fun throwing it around to each other. It’s for real and is what makes this fish stall fabulously successful.
What does this have to do with Christian leadership? Well, I’m having fun sharing these, and more to the point I’m sure the employees in the restaurant and market are having fun too!
Fun working in Christian ministry
We in Christian ministry are in the serious business of introducing people to a loving relationship with their Creator and in bringing our Creator’s love and care to all parts of the Earth. But must we be only serious in doing our work? Is there any room for fun? In Fun Works, Leslie Yerkes makes the claim that fun creates energy, is a stress reliever, builds relationships, stimulates creativity, and improves performance. But you can’t ‘do’ fun. You can’t institutionalize it, program it or tell people to have it! Leaders can support a fun environment, but they can’t make it happen. Yerkes says that having fun is a grassroots thing. It is spontaneous. It bubbles up.
Fun at work
Yerkes details eleven businesses that are very serious about getting hard, tangible results. Employees are held accountable for performance. Make no mistake, a fun work environment does not mean that serious results aren’t achieved. No workplace will survive without results. But each of the eleven workplaces has found ways to allow employees to incorporate fun into the workplace while maintaining professional standards of service.
I have no idea what fun might look like in your ministry or mine, because if you try to copy someone else’s fun it won’t be fun anymore. So take a risk and as a leader, when you see fun happening in your office, encourage it as much as you can. If it goes too far you can gently set some guidelines, but I think most people are quite aware of what is appropriate for the ministry and what is not. It’s worth a try to see what develops! I enjoy Pizza Tuesdays at CCCC and hearing laughter in the halls and wonder what else might develop.
Do you have a fun work environment? Why not describe it here and how it developed?