5 Steps to Celebrate “Win’s” With Your Team

By Justin Lathrop

Some churches tend to be bad about celebrating wins with their team. This is probably because there is always so much to be done and so little time to accomplish our goals. We feel like we should just keep pressing forward. When we have a Kingdom mindset, we always feel the urge to do more.

But if you never stop to celebrate the good things happening in your community, you run the risk of burn out — both for you and the other members of your team. Celebrating “wins” is a great way to pass the baton of ownership and vision, raise the level of energy and moral, and offer momentum to make progress to move forward.

It is for that reason Scott Wilson developed this five step strategy to teach our team to celebrate wins well. I thought I would share them with you.


When we celebrate wins they should always be attached to a story. Stories help “wins” to feel more tangible and make them easy to communicate. If someone stopped you in the grocery store and said, “How are things going at church?” You wouldn’t just say, “They’re going great!” You would tell them a story. Give your “win” a name and a face to help people connect with what God is doing in your community.


The “wins” we celebrate should always be specific, so that we’re accurately communicating a specific instance or thing. Instead of saying, “people seem to really be engaged in what we’re doing,” you could say, “We hosted The Giving Tree and more than two-hundred families participated!”


When you communicate wins to your team or teach them to communicate wins to others, urge them to be specific. Tell them to say that there were seventy-three people who came to the event, not that there were “a lot.” Including stats helps people to see tangible growth.


Help your community understand how the “win” lines up with your key values. For example, the fact that the congregation brought in more than 10,000 cans for the food drive exemplifies the community’s commitment to outreach. That way, individual “wins” aren’t isolated, but become a part of the bigger picture.


Make sure that each win can be communicated quickly and succinctly, so that these stories can be shared over and over again. This is the kind of thing you hope your team will communicate even outside of staff meeting — Stories they will tell at the grocery store, with their families, and in the post office line. It’s so easy to pass over the good things that are happening in your community to get to your next benchmark or goal. But don’t miss celebrating “wins” with your team or teaching them how to celebrate with others.

It will make the biggest difference. It has for us.

Justin Lathrop

With over a dozen years of local church ministry Justin has spent the last several years starting business' and ministries that partner with pastors and churches to advance the Kingdom. He is the founder of Helpstaff.me (now Vanderbloemen Search), Oaks School of Leadership, and MinistryCoach.tv all while staying involved in the local church.

Justin is obsessed with connecting people to people and lives his life daily to make the world a smaller place. He now serves as a consultant in the area of strategic relations predominately working with the Assemblies of God, helping to build bridges with people and ministries to more effectively reach more people.

He blogs regularly about what he has learned from making connection at www.justinlathrop.com.