the baby and the bathwater

Wisdom 11: Smile
April 9, 2009, 12:59 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

A cheerful look brings joy to the heart and good news gives health to the bones (Proverbs 15:30)

Over the years I think I have come up with a few internal plumb-lines but which I assess people – especially people I employ or people I share in significant ministry with.

Character first, Competence second, Chemistry (i.e. a ‘good fit’ for the team) third. All these are vital – and the prominence of good character is one of the things that differentiates a church from most businesses. Most businesses don’t mind how strong your character is as long as you earn the money. But experience of church life seems to show that if you don’t have good character in leadership, then you don’t really have anything.

But there is another one, probably just as important, although something that is probably politically incorrect, and certainly wouldn’t have any weight in the courts. It is the ability to smile.


Look cheerful.

It seems that in so many circles, it is the ability to be cynical, demure, thoughtful looking, serious that gives credibility to a person, gives an impression of wisdom. Especially in the current environment when we have to be so financially aware. But whereas I understand all of that, I am actually getting fed up with miserable people. They drag me down. They make a minute seem like an hour. They drain the life out of me.

That’s why Clarkeson, Hammond and May will always get a bigger audience than Brown, Cameron and Clegg. It’s why Mrs Obama will get the cameras clicking before the Queen. It’s why Julia Roberts films (especially Notting Hill) will always be on the screen in our house before Rambo.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am not talking about people who are being real, who experience the ups and downs of life, and the joy and tears that they bring. I’m not talking about that. I’m talking about the people who just never seem to have a smile, who seem to make it their life’s work to see the down-side of everything. The bad-news people. The glass-half-empty people. The apparently intentionally miserable people.

It seems to me that the world needs many things, and we could – and should – argue about those priorities and needs.

But surely the world would be a much better place if we all learned to smile a little more.

Surely that’s not too much to ask?

You see, a smile goes a long way. Certainly in my book. In my job, I have a constant stream of people requesting things from me. Leading worship, designing things, doing videos, getting communications prepared, buying bits of gear to fix things.

And here and now I want to confirm that you are far likely to get me to do something if you bring a smile with you. I am totally open to manipulation in that way. If you want to flutter your eyelids at me too (if you’re a girl) then that will work too (in an entirely appropriate way of course). I am shallow like that. Because in my book, a wink and a smile will always win the day.

Smile on, people, smile on.


2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

May I suggest a ‘4th C’…?


I’m sure bringing you a cup of Cafe Nero’s/ Starbucks finest will open many doors…!

Comment by Andy McConnochie

Ahhh Coffee..

Where would we be without it….

Blessed are the coffee drinkers, for they shall be known as worship leaders…..

Ye shall love coffee with all thy heart and with all thy soul and with all thy mind and with all thy strength….Ye shall have no other drink before coffee….

Go ye therefore into all the earth and make coffee drinkers of all men.


Comment by neilbennetts

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