5 Ways Playing Chess Makes Better Leaders
November 18, 2013
30 Things God Says About Those Who Are “In Christ”
December 10, 2013
Show all

Celebration + Evaluation – Peter Burchfield

In January of 2013 our Pastors gather the staff for a time of vision casting for the upcoming year. This year was a special one for our ministry because we celebrated our 25th year of doing summer camps and weekend events. At the start of this meeting Pastor Rachel started with a great declaration to all of us stating that this year we were going to “…celebrate what Jesus has done, and evaluate everything we do.” For the past 11 months now every department has been challenged to capture the true meaning of those simple words. Our student ministry for Believers World Outreach Church is led by my brother, Peter Burchfield. Here are a few of his brilliant thoughts on the matter. Enjoy.



[quote]Well, if you’re like me, many team builders are already thinking about the next New. Here’s a recent Embassy Insight that will hopefully help your team as much as it’s been helping ours.
Whatever it is, be it vision, effort or standards, keep it up. Way up! For Jesus.

From Team Embassy – 
Peter Burchfield Embassystudents.tv  [/quote]

Every organization needs to embed 2 things into their team things next year:


Around here, we want to better celebrate our people and evaluate our processes. If it’s the other way around, things can get out of order. However, when we can openly celebrate and evaluate, we create a healthy sense of CONCENTRATION in our organizational ranks.

Here are some recent Culture questions that we’ll be asking:

How can we better celebrate our people?
How can we better evaluate our processes?
How can we celebrate in simple ways everyday?
How can we evaluate simple things everyday?

How can we celebrate big wins in a big way?
How can we make evaluation a big deal around here?

While the whole video is helpful, only the first six minutes are relevant here.

To stay focused on forward, we need both “mission and morale” (credit phrase and above discussion to Andy Stanley and Ray Johnston), and we can sustain the level of Concentration that’s needed with an overwhelming (or just renewed) emphasis on Celebration and Evaluation.

What happens when we Celebrate our processes and Evaluate our people though? We become too organized and less organic. We lose our warmth, and mistake momentum for more maintenance. We elevate systems over serving, career over calling. And – worst of all – we succeed apart from Christ, which is ultimately failing.

Now, shouldn’t we evaluate our people, and celebrate when projects succeed? Absolutely. But there is still precedence for importance here. Everything we do should prioritize people – helping people, developing people… being (with) people. These two ideas help us keep the right kind of pressure on our people, both inside and outside the team thing.

Celebration + Evaluation = Concentration  

We can either evaluate people by their character BEFORE they’ve been placed in a position, or by their competence AFTER a process has been proven. Otherwise, it doesn’t count for much.

Sadly, it can be very difficult to really see people for who they are, especially when they are so close to us. Most stagnating teams don’t have character or competence, but chemistry and history. One of the best ways to evaluate people though is by making one decision at a time.

#1 Are they already in a position? YES or NO?
YES: Then they should already have the necessary character, right? Next question.
NO: Do they have the character to be in this specific position?

Character Comment: It’s important to evaluate people by the position you expect them to do, because some roles actually require more character than others. While we want everyone to be Christ-like, leadership positions consider character mandatory while support roles should nurture it. In other words, give your people some patience if they are in a support position, but enforce the standard without patience if someone has been put in a leadership position. (Obviously, before you enforce principles with authority, you want to reinforce people with accountability.)

#2 Has this position already been proven? YES or NO?
YES: Do they have the competence to complete this process?
NO: Then you need to work with them on completing some goals.

Again, isolating people into specific decisions can help us clear the emotional clutter. After their character and competence has been proven, we can then (and only then) begin to evaluate their performance. That gives us a better ‘read’ on their current commitment and team-chemistry.

#3 Were they given specific Expectations in writing? YES or NO?
YES: Then you can (AND SHOULD) hold them accountable for their actions.
NO: Then how can they be held accountable for their actions? Until then, suggest improvements.

#4 Have you prepared to have their Evaluation in person? YES or NO?
YES: Bravo! Then you will make a great impression. Expect mega-progress!
NO: Ugh. Then you will send the wrong impression. Brace yourself for mega-drama!

Evaluate character BEFORE
or competence AFTER

Equally enough, we should also Celebrate when things work well… and as planned. Ironically, some times our teams laugh about how they pulled things off at the last minute, and actually Celebrate a bad process instead. That’s just dumb, people!

It’s NOT ENOUGH to buy dinner for everyone when things ‘turn out.’ We should only and always Celebrate the wins that match our wants. And we shouldn’t treat our teams to boost morale either. No matter how many times frozen yogurt seems to work, it’s just a band-aid. The bigger issue is that the team leader is trying to Celebrate when things went poorly to salvage morale instead of leveraging the loss of morale to Concentrate the team back on mission.

And here is the game-changer. We actually Celebrate for Mission and Evaluate for Morale.

Didn’t you notice it above? Mission and Morale comes when we Celebrate our people and Evaluate our processes. Without Celebrating the people already on mission, why would anyone else want to join the party? Without Evaluating the processes already affecting morale, what makes anyone think that the organizational culture is really make any progress?

Instead, we think and (unfortunately) do the opposite! We Celebrate people for morale, and Evaluate processes for mission, which is like having a birthday party for a newborn or trying to change the oil of a moving vehicle. Both are pointless and counter-productive. The baby doesn’t know what’s going on. It’s morale will change in three minutes. Equally absurd, it’s just not time to try to be a ‘good steward’ when everyone else is swerving around you.

See, Celebration keeps us concentrated on mission,
and Evaluation keeps us concentrated on morale.

We don’t Celebrate teams to get (or keep) them motivated! If they aren’t motivated already, why are they on board in the first place? That’s a drain, people. No, we don’t try to motivate our teams to get them to “stay with us!” on mission. Rather, we Celebrate our teams to MOTIVATE OTHERS to get on board as well, which builds momentum to our mission.

Additionally, we don’t Evaluate our operations to better understand our mission. That’s just too much soul-searching! If you don’t know your own mission, or have to Evaluate what’s working and not working every other week, then why are leading in the first place? That’s a drag, people. No, we don’t try to ask others to understand our own mission, but we Evaluate how well others understand the operations so they can own our mission as well, which adds meaning to our morale.

So, there you have it. Creating a healthy team thing requires Concentration, which can be well managed when we Celebrate our people for mission and Evaluate our processes for morale.

Celebrate for mission
Evaluate for morale