Work Hard, Play Hard

In the last 24 hours, I’ve run across 3 different instances in which small businesses have worked extremely hard to create a culture of hard play.



Tamara of Social Design House, a full-service design studio that shares a building with The Cordial Churchman in Old Town Rock Hill, blogged about their annual retreat at the National Whitewater Center here in the Charlotte area. They rode the rapids of the world’s longest man-made circuitous river, flew on a zip line to get dry, sipped microbrews, and then talked transparently about everything that would make their work environment more awesome in the days ahead.

They’ve also had a practice called ‘Social Lunch’ for a number of years. They go out to eat at a different Rock Hill restaurant every single Tuesday as a team.


And then I discovered that we’re getting more new neighbors: Span Enterprises. They are a tech firm that creates web-based business management products, and they’re moving into the Old Town space once occupied by our friends the Friday Arts Project. They have “tea time” every day at 4pm, and instead of ‘casual Friday’ they have Carrom Friday. Their blog is essentially an invitation to join the hard work and hard play that epitomizes their company culture.


Finally, I picked up a volume of Kinfolk Magazine this evening, only to read about Mast Brothers. They’re the first bean-to-bar chocolatier in Brooklyn, NY. And ever since the beginning, they’ve had a near-daily ritual of a long lunch with a chef-of-the-day. Everyone pitches in to chop veggies or stir kettles. And then they have an hour of free time after lunch is cleaned up.


Do you want to have a church in which everyone works hard? Consistently works at peak performance? Contributes fresh, innovative ideas and then executes on them with passion?

Then you need to create a church that works hard at playing hard.


You can’t manufacture passion. It’s birthed from a culture that values people, and therefore plays.

If you’re going to plant a church that makes a big push for the kingdom of God, then plant a church that teaches people to take themselves less seriously, and to take play more seriously. You’ll discover that hard work will still be hard, but will be constantly infused with play. And you’ll discover that you’ll be doing the work of the kingdom even while you play.

It’s a glorious thing to watch. And I’m sure Jesus loves watching it.

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