I don’t think I have ever met as many enthusiastic peope as I have since I moved back to North Carolina. Enthusiasm, whether genuine or necessary as in teaching every single day, whether you might have the energy or not, makes a huge difference in all that you do. Enthusiasm isn’t just smiling, being happy, and having energy, it’s an attitude you carry with you. You can be happy to help set up some chairs, but not be enthusiastic about it like you think it will truly make a difference. You can be smiling while doing something, but not be enthusiastic about it. You can have tons of energy, but it doesn’t mean your attitude is in the right place or that you are happy to be doing whatever it is you may be doing. I’ve learned a lot about enthusiasm in the last year from several people. I could say several hundred…several thousand if you wish to include all the kids at school and everyone at church. Here are a few enthused individuals I think many have and could learn a lot from… Some are quite obvious.
Pastor Steven Furtick – When is he not enthusiastic about anything? He gets psyched up about video games from back in the day, food, preaching (he’s NOT a speaker, you buy those in stores…haha), reaching Charlotte, doing things with excellence, music, keeping integrity at his core, his family, his church… And he gosh, his enthusiasm is contagious. Things he says truly motivates and inspires people like I have never seen in a church before. How does that work? Enthusasm. And through hilarious displays…singing Paula Abdul in vmails, throwing RUNTS around on the stage to get a point across, etc.
Larry B. – Larry wins the award for happiest man alive. I have never seen this man not smiling. Even the way he talks is just at this happy tone and you can’t help but smile hearing him speak. He’s always whooping and hollering during set up for things and tear down when they share numbers and whatnot. He is intentional in everything he has done since the beginning of the church as Assimilation Pastor and working with first time guests. I remember my first Sunday talking to him and he remembered my name the next week and the next and the next and so on. He sets up systems and training for volunteers that helps them understand what they are doing and why it is so important. The way he speaks to people…the man was just born to do what he is currently doing at Elevation. He’s a great people person because of his enthusiasm and communication skills with individuals, groups, etc.
John B. – His enthusiasm really comes through in what he does with small groups at church. He is so dedicated to it and sold out on the importance of building community within the church. He’s always smiling and cracking jokes too. He and Larry always have a “Hello” for everybody too. He also is doing what he was born to do with Elevation and leading the small groups.
I’m seeing a trend with Elevation staff here…haha. No doubt, more Elevators to come…
Eric B. – Yes, Eric. Another never-ending smiler. I think he has more fun with the E-Kidz songs than the actual kids do. He’s sold out on what the church is all about and working with the kids and is always ready to help with anything. His enthusiasm I think comes from seeing a vision and catching it. It’s like we are looking for something, we stumble upon it and it is exactly what we’ve been looking for and we take it on. At least I feel that way about Elevation and the vision.
Jessi W. – Miss Jump In and Do Everything Whenever. Jessi always helps with the kids in so many capacities in different areas such as toddlers and babysitting for small groups. She leads my small group. This summer she is the interim children’s director at church while our actual director is on maternity leave. Tough job, but she totally jumped in and has done great (liking your props, Jessi, if you are reading this?). I think she has a wonderful sense of spontanaeity and her enthusiasm shows through her jumping on board whatever is thrown her way whether it is this interim position for the summer, babysitting, etc. and finding ways to make it work better, fun, organized, whatever.
Jeremy F. – He’s called himself this before, so basically…he’s a psycho. He’s on a permanent caffeine high most of the time, one would think. He bursts at the seams with energy it seems and has a smile plastered on his face 24/7. He does a ton at church. I think he’s on like…four volunteer teams? Greeting, production, pre-k, K-5 I think… Another one totally sold on the church and it’s vision. He’s always talking to new people and greeting them and is absolutely not fake about it. He’s always listening and is genuinely interested in talking to them. He’s all over the place helping out during tear down. Another one of those thoroughly enjoying the K-5 songs almost more than the kids. His enthusiasm definitely has a lot to do with his energy and attitude. Those two things together basically lead to craziness and some good laughs. I believe he has a real knack for communicating with people and could totally see him in a Larry Brey-ish position working with kids or something…somehow. I don’t know if I’ve ever witnessed him and Larry together in a conversation before… I can only imagine… hahaha.
Elevation Volunteers – In general, these people are the most amazing EVER! They are sold out on the church, what they do at Elevation (whether it is cleaning bathrooms, changing diapers, working the computers for the service, or singing). I have never seen such dedication as those that arrive at Providence HS at 5am to set things up and then stay three services and tear down until 2pm in the afternoon. They are honestly the happiest people I have ever met. Always helpful, always ready to meet new people. They are truly what makes Elevation what it is at its core. The church is not a building, but the people. Pastor Steven’s vision has really been caught and spread like wildfire to the volunteers who in turn spread it to the first time guests and visitors.
Ms. Laney – She’s a kindergarten teacher at my school and gosh she cracks me up. She is hilarious. She’s been through a lot in her life and has nothing but smiles to share with the world. She’s very approachable and fun. I love going to her classroom and talking with her. I had a blast sitting and talking with her at Relay for Life. She’s very enthusiastic about life in general and not taking things too seriously.
There are more people I could think of I’m sure, but those are some I can think of right off the top of my head whom I have seen demonstrate true enthusiasm for whatever it is that they may be doing and it is obvious the difference it has made in their life and the life of others.
I think we could all use a little more enthusiasm in our daily lives.
I leave you with a hilarious video from the USA show “Psych”. Supposed to be a knock off of “American Idol”. It’s an 80s song and I just about cracked up at it.