When All Else Fails,Take a deep Breathe and Laugh
By SueEllen Lawton
Sometimes, when it seems that you’ve tried everything, a humorous approach may turn the tide. They say that laughter is the best medicine and in the case of alleviating stress in a campaign falling behind, it can be just what the doctor ordered.
Recently, as my current church has struggled in recruiting Visitors, one brilliant volunteer had the idea to create a sarcastic air of exclusivity around Visitors. Because, as we all know, when one is explicitly excluded, we naturally want to be part of it. So, at the Wednesday Night Suppers, a “Visitors Table” has been established.
It is an informal place for Visitors to gather, share experience and enjoy fellowship with other Visitors with similar joys and challenges in Visiting. But it is crowned by a six-foot sign reading This table is reserved for Capital Campaign Visitors You, too, can sit at this table! Just ask us how! The new Exclusive table is covered with a plush tablecloth and flowers. The idea is to make it so much fun for those sitting there that others truly will want to join the ranks of the Visitors. There has been talk of offering shoulder massages to those Visitors sitting there, covering the metal folding chairs in fancy cloth chair covers, maybe even erecting some kind of lighted canopy over the table and sharing jokes freely to ensure plenty of laughter and fun! We will see how it works, but at least the Visitors that we do have will be more engaged with each other, and will be signing-up for more Visits at each dinner.
Talk has already begun on how to make Visits around Halloween a lot more fun, going on Visits in costume to lighten the mood. Imagine being visited by biblical characters! Oh my! Or secular characters like Superman and Wonder Woman! Hmmm. We may have to play this card carefully, but, hopefully, everyone will maintain their sense of humor and decency.
Humor can be tricky, of course, as not everyone shares the same sense of humor, so you really do need to weigh the possibility that ANYONE could possibly be offended. You can’t please everyone, of course, but we all need to take great care not to alienate anyone in the process, either. We never want to compromise ‘respect’ for a lighter mood. It is a delicate balance that when done well can be energizing, engaging and motivating!