Weight Watcher Parable — Celebrate Good Actions

My wife and I joined Weight Watchers this summer. Today I received a special sticker for having lost ten pounds!

There are many ways in which a Weight Watchers meeting resembles a church worship service.

  1. All the members sit in rows (semi-circles) facing the presenter.
  2. Members come from all walks of life; all we have in common is a desire to lose weight.
  3. Both are hope based: Christians look forward to Jesus’ return; Weight Watchers look forward to reaching their target goal.
  4. No one loses weight because they go to meetings; they lose weight by keeping good daily habits. Christians grow more from daily habits than they do from worship gatherings.

However, there are some things I am learning at Weight Watchers that might help me in church leadership. The first lesson I learned at Weight Watchers is this: celebrate good habits as well as good results

At the beginning of each Weight Watcher meeting, the leader rewards people for results: pounds lost.

But the next question is “What success have you had at doing the right things?” Weight Watchers know that good actions do always produce immediate good results. So people who counted all their points are cheered, regardless of their weight loss or gain. Your good habit today might not have achieved good results, but eventually, it will.

What would happen to the church that celebrated everyone who was faithful the past week in engaging in devotions each day? Or if we celebrated someone’s resistance to their besetting sin for a full week? I like small groups that begin, “Did you follow through on the commitments you made last week?”

Weight Watchers know how discouraging it is to do the right thing and not see an immediate reward, so they reinforce good behavior with weekly celebration. I think a church that did the same would reap many benefits.

This entry was posted in Mark's Blog, My Personal Journey, Pastoral Ministry. Bookmark the permalink.