When I was in college I painted houses during the summer. My first two years of doing this I worked for a woman who taught me a lot about prep work, finishing and everything else that goes with painting. As much as I’m thankful for the skills and talents I developed it was a very difficult place to work. It was a challenge to go their each day because the atmosphere was tense. It was a no fun zone.
- Play A Game: Send an email out to coworkers to schedule in 30 minutes of fun one day a week (Maybe even more). It could be to play a game of Uno, ping pong or maybe even an old Minute to Win It favorite. It will feel random; however, it will get people reenergize. There is nothing like a little friendly competition to bring people together.
- Watch Something Funny: Right before a meeting starts have your team watch a 5 minute clip of your favorite comedian. You could also show them a funny scene from your favorite movie. It doesn’t have to pertain to the theme of the meeting, just use it as a tool to break the ice. By lightening the mood you can diffuse the tension that meetings can sometimes bring.
- Start A Practical Joke War: Good, clean practical jokes are a great way of creating a fun atmosphere. However, before you begin be sure that you aren’t causing any property damage or public humiliation. Seek approval from others before you target them. While this method is a little bit of a risk, it can really create camaraderie that will let others take down their guards. Lastly, be sure anything you dish out you can take.
- Feed Them: Everyone loves food and, cooking is one of the ultimately ways of saying, “I love you“. If you bake your staff some cookies or prepare them an entire meal it will give them the opportunity to realize someone cares about them. Make it a special occasion and plan it around someone’s birthday or a holiday. If possible make it personal by making something they enjoy.
When you can have fun at work and laugh you can bring back some of the joy to your calling. Granted youth ministry isn’t supposed to be all play and no work; however, if you can’t play together you won’t grow.