By Kristen Muse, Associate Pastor, Hayes Barton Baptist Church, Raleigh
I feel the buzz of my watch and see the reminder pop up on my screen. It’s 2:00, staff check-in, almost like clockwork. Although that time might not mean anything to you, for those around Hayes Barton Baptist Church, our staff all know what that means. Every Tuesday through Friday, we gather in the office as an entire staff to check-in.
It is the time to stop what you are doing, finish the email, conclude a meeting, turn off the vacuum, and gather in the office. Maybe it is the first time you’ve seen each other for the day because you work in different areas of the building. Maybe you’ve been wanting to pass along a set-up or need that remains before the day is up, you now have that opportunity. Maybe you have a prayer concern to pass along or a joy that needs to be celebrated, now’s the time. As the group begins to gather, there are usually stories being told. Oftentimes it is remembering a game from last night or something funny that happened earlier in the day. Laughing is usually par for the course and more often than not, someone is asking for chocolate.
About two years ago, we began to have this daily check-in time. We had a weekly staff meeting, but noticed that things came up during the day that everyone needed to know. We also thought about the desire we had to really be a community instead of just people coming in and doing “their job” and leaving. These daily check-ins allow us to see what someone is working on, share information, and most importantly connect with God and each other. We often begin by standing around wondering who is going to start the meeting or get everyone’s attention because laughter and conversations are going on. But then we quickly move to news that needs to be shared. It doesn’t matter who you are on the staff (custodian, minister, chef, secretary, administrator), you are free to share what is going on. We often celebrate birthdays during this time, but more importantly, we end our time with prayer. This allows us to pray for one another and the needs in each other’s lives.
If you ask a staff member about this time, they will probably roll their eyes, but deep down we value the time when our watches or phones buzz to remind us to gather in the office. It is a time to just breathe together in the midst of a busy day, but more often than not, it is also a time to be grateful for one another and the opportunity to serve as a team and share life together.
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