Leading Happy

Where Leadership and Happiness Collide

Category: Creativity (page 3 of 5)

3 Ways Churches Can Support Singles


Guest Blogger: Holly Tucker

God created within each of us a need for relationships.  When God created Adam, He said, “It is not good for the man to be alone.”  (Gen. 2:18)  His solution to this problem was to create a wife for Adam.  It is His desire that we have someone to walk with and support us throughout life.  However, for some of us, singleness is a part of our life.  It doesn’t define us, but it does affect our life.  And it isn’t a phase that is guaranteed to change.  It could, and more thank likely change at some point, but we aren’t exempt from the need for relationships.  So, the question that needs to be answered is, how do we meet our need for relationship while we are still single?  I believe there are 3 ways that the church can and should assist singles in this.

1. Pray With Us.

Relationships are greatly strengthened when we pray together.  If you pray regularly with your spouse, perhaps you can verify that statement.  Assuming that you pray with your spouse every day, or at least most days, and you notice how it brings you together as a couple.  Another great benefit to praying together is that this reminds you that someone else is committed to caring for you and standing with you no matter what happens.

Although singles cannot experience prayer together in the same way that a couple can, there are ways that couples can assist in this.  Ask what our needs are currently, don’t assume you know.  Pray for God wants, not what we want.  We will have days when we are overwhelmed by feelings of loneliness and rejection.  It’s normal.  But God may not want to change our circumstances, and that’s ok.  Remember that we face the same struggles that you do.  We have responsibilities, temptations, and weaknesses, many of which make us no different than you.  Pray that God will strengthen us the same way that you would pray for your marriage.  If we choose to open up to you, listen.  Don’t think we aren’t happy with our lives, we are just having a bad day.  Be a spiritual example for us.  Just because we don’t need to be told how to be a good spouse doesn’t mean we don’t need your advice.  Show us how to live for Christ in the situation that we are in now.

2. Encourage Us.

Life doesn’t discriminate between singles and couples when storms happen.  Loved ones pass on.  Financial difficulty pops up.  And sometimes our relationships get strained.  Sometimes we just need to be reminded that we aren’t alone.  Sometimes we need to be reminded that we are valued.  Church culture places a high value on families, which is absolutely necessary.  However, these messages can be so overwhelming at times that it can leave us wondering if there is any encouragement left for us.  We may never be the supportive spouse who prays for her husband while he is at work.  We may never be the loving mom who tucks her kids in at night.  We may never bear the responsibility of fighting for our family.  But we may very well have the opportunity to fight for a child who was abandoned by his family.  Or maybe our role will be to assist parents in teaching their kids about Christ.  God may ask us to use our time to stay with some kids in our church so their parents can have a weekend away together.  But if we are to accomplish our purpose, we need to stay strong.  And that means that we need the support of other believers who will encourage us when we feel like giving up.

3.  Celebrate With Us.

The two greatest moments in anyone’s life are when they get married and when they have a baby.  Those are great things to celebrate and should be honored.  But not everyone shares those experiences.  Sometimes our greatest moments seem smaller in comparison.  Maybe we just landed our dream job.   Perhaps we just accomplished something we’ve been working on for a long time.   But regardless of what we are celebrating, we need people who will rejoice with us.  Let’s honor singles by showing them how great their life is and reminding them of all that they have to celebrate.

These are just a few ways that couples can impact Christian singles.  The greatest thing to remember is that our lives are all just as valuable to God.  We may face different struggles, and our purpose may be different, but we are all in this together.  And in the same way that we honor marriage, let’s show every single in our church that we honor them.  We all have a part to play in the kingdom of God, and when we work together, we can accomplish great things.

hollytuckerHolly is currently serving as the preschool director at Westwood Christian Fellowship. She is currently preparing to become the kids’ director at Life Church, a church plant in Glasgow, Scotland.  Holly received a Bachelor’s in Education from SAGU, and went on to obtain a Master’s in Accounting from AIU.  However, her real dream is to help care for orphans in other countries.

Watching Seinfeld

On April 16, 2008, I wrote this short blog post for my original blog platform. What is interesting is I have been watching Seinfeld yet again, because I have been reading the new book, Seinfeldia. So the below re-post is nostalgic as much as it is current. Ironic! BTW, the baby I was rocking is my daughter Kathryn who is going into the third grade!


seinfeldiaAlmost every night I find myself rocking my baby to sleep as I watch reruns of Seinfeld, the show about nothing. Sometimes I still find myself laughing out loud at Kramer’s stupidity, George’s laziness, and Jerry’s shallow, sarcastic observations about life. Of course this makes it hard for my baby to fall asleep, so maybe Seinfeld and rocking are a bad combination!

But why is Seinfeld such a popular and frequently quoted show, years after FOX aired its last episode? I personally think it is because it was and continues to be a reflection of contemporary life. I mean life often feels like a series of random and unconnected events. The only thing that connects these events are the relationships and stories that surround them.

We can identify with the characters as they relate to each other, both in normalcy and dysfunction. We can relate to the randomness, even craziness, of modern Western living. And at the end of the day we can laugh, cry, and live life because we understand living a little better because of a show about nothing.

In the end, I think that Seinfeld was not just a show about nothing, but a show about life. Life is random, life is hectic, life is ironic, life is unpredictable, and life is full of surprises.

But through it all our stories and friendships are vital to our understanding and even making sense of the world around us. Think about it…

seinfeld-nbc-fun pic

Volunteers: From Seats to Service, Part 3: Keeping Volunteers from Burning Out

volunteer_part 3

The biggest issue any leader fears dealing with is the meeting where burn out is the reason for a volunteer stepping down.

This raises the subsequent question, “How do we keep volunteers healthy and from burning out?”

Before we address the question, get this big idea in your head –

It is better to keep a long-term volunteer than recruit a new one to replace them.

Keeping the previous statement in mind will help with the following observations.

1 | Compound Investment

Albert Einstein once said, “Compound interest is the 8th wonder of the world.” Leaders should utilize compound interest (or what I call “compound investment”) as they invest in their volunteers. Invest as much time in your volunteers as you can, instead of investing all you time in other endeavors.

It takes less time to invest in a long-term volunteer than to recruit, get to know, and train a new one.

Yes, we need to find and train new volunteers, but that should also be done by long-term volunteers who feel so invested they want to make the team better.

2 | Personal Investment

Volunteers are often people with connections, interests, friends, families, and more. Let them know you know about their life, their interests, and their families.

Send them a thank you note written with your hand. Put a stamp on it and send it old school.

Also make every effort to make the praise specific and personal. An honest thank you in your own hand is greater than a half-thought through praise through text, email, or in front of a crowd .

3 | Fruitful Investment

Think of this in terms of three F’s – Fun, Fruitful, and Fulfilled.

First, always look for ways to make serving FUN. Work hard and play hard. I have said it before and I will say it over and over till I see it lived out more often.Here is an idea, have a meet up rally before the serving event, and instead of just doling out boring info, make it a game and make it memorable. When your volunteers are excited it will catch fire in the larger crowds.

Then try and make each volunteer feel like their efforts are leading to FRUITFUL growth in their life. Your roll as a leader is to make sure they have the training and equipment to be fruitful. Fruitful volunteers grow other fruitful volunteers. They spread their healthy vines all around and show others that being part of the team leads to healthy and fruit-bearing service!

Finally, point out when the mission or vision is accomplished or gaining momentum, which in turn, allows them to see they are doing something worthwhile and thus feel FULFILLED.

What is greater than having a blast, seeing growth, and feeling that what you are doing makes a difference in the world? Nothing I have encountered yet. If it makes me as a leader feel fantastic, than I know it’s impact on those I lead and serve alongside of will feel the same.

Share as many stories as possible, especially personalized ones. Send as many cards as needed. Make sure to highlight life change and mission accomplishment. Never waste a moment that can be utilized to celebrate! When all three – fun, fruitful, and fulfilled – are being utilized in celebrating and serving, you will be hard pressed to see your volunteer burn out.

To wrap this post up, know this, hard does not always equate to burn out. People can do hard things and love what they do. Volunteers burn out when all three of our main points are missing regularly.

Therefore, implement these as often and as widespread as you can. Try it out for six months as a focus and I can assure you things in your volunteer organization will be looking up!

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