First Baptist Church Naples | Naples, Florida

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A Blog Post

Hoopla

In the famous book, In Search of Excellence, authors Peters and Waterman spoke of “hoopla” as a key to effectiveness in business. We might call it celebration or rejoicing. The best companies celebrate accomplishments and the people who are responsible. The authors of that book observed, “The leader is primarily an expert in the promotion and projection of values.” Jesus Christ affirmed God’s values when Peter confessed that He was “the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus noted, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jona! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in Heaven” (Matthew 16:17). As the Perfect Expert, Jesus determines our convictions and confirms our value to Him.

If leadership is a train, celebration is the caboose which brings perspective and praise at the end of a process. We certainly celebrate God’s victories: “You have multiplied, O Lord My God, Your wondrous deeds and Your thoughts toward us; none can compare with You! I will proclaim and tell of them” (Psalm 40:5). We need more hoopla when we see the Lord’s hand on a project.

We rejoice in the success of our recent Vacation Bible School. As the primary leader, Betsy Evans, wrote: “We are one Body, and it takes all of us to pull off VBS. This year we had an average of 542 children daily; we were able to purchase 154 solar-powered audio Bibles at $4,133 (through our girls vs. boys offering); we had 235 volunteers; over 30 children a day made steps toward a relationship with Jesus Christ Who is the Son of God, more than just a man, Who died and rose again and has left evidence through His Word. I am eternally grateful!”

We celebrate leaders like Betsy, Beverly Burgoyne, and Jason Dean, who impacted these precious VBS children, as well as our many volunteers, some who invested vacation time. Sam Walton, founder of Walmart, often hitch-hiked on delivery trucks so that he could visit with the drivers and wandered into distribution centers at 2:00 am and ate donuts with shift workers. He celebrated his people. Upon returning from the Southern Baptist Convention, I was able to experience the energetic worship of our children in the assembly time and thank God for all of the hard working volunteers.

We particularly honor our Deacons and their Wives this weekend. They are true, godly leaders. We are recognizing them in the services. “Well done, good and faithful servants!”

Let’s continue to celebrate our successful mission trips, the arrival of new staff, the birth of babies, the salvation of souls, the growth of ministries, and so much more. It is time for hoopla!