Where Have All the Lifeguards Gone?

Where Have All the Lifeguards Gone?
August 8, 2013 Bob D'Ambrosio

Last month my family and I vacationed in San Diego and discovered that Sea World recently opened a water park called Aquatica.  It was exciting to be among the first to explore a new venue.

While there I started to become a type of ‘mystery shopper’….. observing the park staff. I figured they had recently received new employee training so would model the outcomes of corporate leadership development. (Yes, I actually think of these things on vacation.)

It was while waiting on line for the “Water Bowl” that I discovered there were no Lifeguards.  Now don’t get me wrong. They do hire staff to rescue drowning people….but it was the title on the T-shirts that caught my attention.  A Lifeguard is now called a “Water Safety Team Member”.  Wow.

Even the marketplace has embraced the team concept! They are changing their corporate culture by changing the language. It was then that I recalled the name badge on the employee at the ice cream stand which read, “Hospitality Team Member”.  Every employee at Aquatica is part of a team. And teams bring strength and synergy!

Wouldn’t it be great if every volunteer at your church felt the same way?  Imagine how that might be reflected in ministry position titles:

“Praise Band” – becomes Worship Team

“Ushers” and “Greeters” – are part of the Guest Services Team

“Sunday School Teachers” – think of themselves as Children’s Ministry Team Members

“Volunteer”  –  is anyone who’s part of a Serving Team.

Language really does drive the culture of an organization. The corporate world knows this—do the leaders at your church?






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