When I lived in the Pacific Northwest, one of my routines was to venture to Pike Place Fish Market in Seattle on Saturday mornings. Not only was it fun to pick out fresh fish for Saturday dinners, but the fish market employees also brought such joy and fun to the experience. They would literally toss trout and salmon through the air to each other, to customers, to anyone who would frolic in their game.
I never considered working in a fish market, but I did imagine what it would be like to have such fun in the workplace. By engaging customers and onlookers, these fish slingers brought energy and enthusiasm that was contagious throughout Pike’s Place. These principles can be applied to any type of job, including ministry. Here are some ideas for maintaining a positive attitude in your work and how that can affect the overall attitude of your church body.
According to Fish! Philosophy, “There is always a choice about the way you do your work, even if there is not a choice about the work itself.” More specifically:
Though the Bible obviously doesn’t talk about Fish! Philosophy, it does teach us many of the same principles.
It can be so easy to feel exhausted just walking into your office in the morning. Maybe you’ve got a large ministry staff to manage, or maybe you’re the sole worker at your church and it feels like the whole place rides on your shoulders. What kinds of changes can you make to keep your attitude positive even when you don’t feel positive about what you have to do? Here are some ideas:
Expanding Fish! Philosophy to Your Entire Church
Start by practicing these principles with other staff members. Not only will this give you opportunities to make mistakes and learn from them, but it will also help build comradery and a sense of teamwork among staff members. When the ministry staff has a solid foundation in working together, it can achieve much more when serving the church’s members.
Then start applying these same principles in your interactions with members. When you share your positive attitude with others, it becomes contagious. Though change is slow, hopefully after some time you will notice a shift in the way people behave at church and how they interact with each other.
The Fish! Philosophy is based on the book Fish!: A Remarkable Way to Boost Morale and Improve Results by Stephen C. Lundin, Ph.D., Harry Paul, and John Christensen © 2000 Hachette Book Group.
Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.