The most effective and productive teams take time to celebrate together. If you’re a visionary leader, it can be easy to see a victory then move on almost immediately to the next project or next challenge. Yet for your team, taking that tack can be both exhausting and invalidating.
Whenever you plan any big event or project, part of your plan needs to include calendaring in a celebration as part of the process. For really big projects, you won’t want to schedule a celebration immediately afterwards because everyone is tired, but do be sure to mark the completion of big milestones with some type of celebration.
Whenever my current team finishes a book project, we go out for dinner and include spouses. With larger teams, sometimes it can be effective to gather and tell stories: How did you see God at work? How did you grow? What did God do? Telling and re-telling the stories is huge. It allows people working in the trenches and behind the scenes—for example, in all of the support roles required for a large-scale Vacation Bible School—to hear the God stories of what has been accomplished through their work.
An open mic can allow for a diversity of voices and perspectives, as well as creating an affirming and reflective mood. Now that I live in Santa Rosa, I recently saw this approach used to great effect as a group of us gathered to share stories about the miracles we saw connected to the Santa Rosa fires. People who lost homes shared about how God provided even in the midst of great loss. People who were affected and who served were all given the freedom to share, and it resulted in a sense of unity of spirit and confirmed direction for the future as the community continues to recover.