801South Values: Fun


I explained a primary value of reproduction through relational apprenticing in my message this past Sunday. I look forward to sharing more values this coming Sunday as we talk about the need to offer fresh expressions of the Gospel.

Shannon Cotton, the Communications Director at Matthews UMC, says that I need to add pictures to my blog and she’s the expert so you can thank her for the photograph. The smiling preschooler is my oldest son, Stephen “Caleb;” who is laughing after running through a suburban geyser at the local splash pad. The joy he was experiencing in that moment warmed the hearts of his parents and his 16-month-old brother was very intrigued so he quickly joined in the fun as well. Fun is contagious.

Fun is almost always a driving value for children. I’m not sure at what point in our lives we allow play to move down the list of priorities, nor am I sure of all the factors influencing us to stop pursuing fun. I remember watching Kevin Carroll address this issue at a leadership conference several years ago. He explained that at some point we no longer incorporate play into our everyday lives; which becomes very detrimental to us as adults. This lack of play can be fatal to the soul. So I refuse NOT to have fun. There are those intense moments that demand a more serious posture, such as a tough diagnosis or a loss of life, but for the other 99% of our time here, fun should be a big pursuit. As is the case with maintaining simplicity and external focus, however, the natural drift is toward strictly business; which is no fun.

There are times when I look at people who are miserable and not having fun at all, especially in their jobs, and I want to tell them to quit and do something fun. The typical response is that we all have to eat so we need a job-even if that employment is killing us. (I think play and fun–or lack thereof–are more telling of ones personality than external influence, such as a boring job.) I would rather starve while having a blast, than experience a halfhearted existence on a full stomach.

Fun as a value for 801South will unfold as lots of laughter and play. We will create environments in which people actually enjoy being around each other as we work together on the same mission and crave that relational space when away. After all, aren’t we working to make known the One who came to provide abundant life? I hope that when I get bogged down in the day-to-day drudgery someone will hold me accountable to the value of fun, at which point we will stop, go out for cupcakes, and return for a game of Pictionary.

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