I love Christmas music. It gets me in the mood to celebrate Christmas.
On Thanksgiving Day this year, we drove to my in-law’s house, about an hour away. The whole way there and back, we listened to Christmas music. Singing…smiling…talking about the upcoming holiday season. I even set up a station on Pandora so I could listen to Christmas music when I was working in the house. Wherever I turned, it was Christmas music. I couldn’t get enough of it.
But the day after Christmas, I was done with that stuff. It was almost repulsive. I deleted the station off of Pandora. Took the music off of my iPod.
And in the process, I learned a few things that we can apply to our churches and organizations.
What we can learn from Christmas music
1. Sometimes less is more. The fact that Christmas music only comes around once/year, and only for a month at that, makes it that much more exciting and meaningful. People can get tired of a good thing. Case-in-point: Christmas music. Good ideas have short shelf lives. Christmas music is a great idea around the holidays…but don’t think that that same idea will work in May. Move on to another genre.
2. Change for change sake is good. I was so ready for a change on December 26th. The music that had, the weeks prior, gotten me in the mood to celebrate Christmas now felt old. Those Christmas carols needed to go.
3. Sometimes any change is a good change. Feel stuck? Change something. It’ll feel good, and keep the ball rolling forward. Change feels like progress (whether it actually is or not). Putting away the Christmas decorations and turning off the Christmas music feels good. Like I’m taking a step forward.
4. When you do the same thing the same way, people will get bored. Christmas music works because, in January, you’re going to stop hearing it. We’d all get bored if we heard the same music all year. And when we get bored, we tune out…and stuff loses its meaning and significance.
5. Be willing to do away with your model. Andy Stanley says, “Marry your values, but date your model.” As organizational leaders, we must know what our core values are. Those are un-compromisable. But our model should be constantly changing as it, over time, begins to shift us away from our core values.
Christmas music sounds awful right now. Because I’ve worn out the holiday stuff. Put up the tree. Boxed up the ornaments. Unplugged the lights. And moved on.
And it feels so good.
Do you need to shake some things up in your church?
What things need to change?
Does “change for change sake” need to happen?