Yesterday, in light of Brett Favre’s signing with the Minnesota Vikings, we took a quick look at our ministries to evaluate if we had anyone on our teams that look a bit like Brett Favre.
If you answered “yes” to any of yesterday’s questions, then you first need to know how in the world your “Brett Favre” got to be the person they are today. Going forward, you’ll be better off if you know who you’re dealing with.
There are 3 major events that have helped define your Brett Favre.
Brett Favre Lives for his Passions
July 24, 1990
Brett Favre was a Senior at Southern Miss when he was involved in a near-fatal car accident. Near his parents’ home in Mississippi, Favre flipped his car three times and came to rest against a tree. During the ambulance ride to the hospital, Brett was able to talk to his mother.
“All I kept asking [her] was ‘Will I be able to play football again?’” Favre recalled later.
Your Brett Favre may not have been in a car accident like the real Brett Favre, but, at some point in their life, they’ve had a pivotal moment when they looked to their passions and gifts to help them overcome an obstacle. For Brett, his passion for the game of football drove him to recover quickly from the surgery that removed 30 inches of his small intestine… later leading his team to a come-from-behind victory over Alabama merely 6 weeks after his accident.
For your team member, it may have been a rough spot in their marriage or job. It may have been an unexpected diagnosis. They may have felt as though they’d lost control over something in their lives. Whatever that incident was, pouring themselves into ministry helped them find enough joy and encouragement to push through that hard time. They feel as though their passion saved them.
What you need to know: If you take away what they’re passionate about, your Brett Favre might feel as though you’re stealing their life away. Their passion has defined them. For better or for worse.
Brett Favre Has Been Successful
January 26, 1997
Brett Favre led the Packers to their best season in decades during the 1996 season, winning his second consecutive MVP award in the process. The season culminated in a Super Bowl XXXI victory – a game in which Brett threw for 2 touchdowns, ran for 1 and completed a two-point conversion. In 1991, the year before Brett would begin taking snaps for the Packers, the team posted a 4-12 record. In 5 short years, Brett Favre led one of the NFL’s storied franchises to their first league championship in 30 years.
Brett Favres come into the picture during a down season in a ministry area. They usually begin as a back up or an assistant. They experience hard times, but often work hard during those times and begin to find and define success in their ministry area. Other leaders, inside and outside of their team, describe your Brett Favre as a “success story” and Bretts often become the face of the area they’re involved in. Most of these accolades are deserved… though, at the time, those in leadership are not quite aware that they’re creating a problem for themselves down the road (though, to be honest, the leaders who help create Brett Favres are typically only around during their glory years. You usually come into the picture later on).
What you need to know: Because your Brett Favre has had success, they are more likely to stick with the methods that they were using during the time of that success. New leaders often look up to the Brett Favre in your ministry area. Your Brett Favre is often known and looked up to by those on other teams. This dynamic will almost always make it difficult to transition this leader out of their leadership role.
Brett Favre has been a Constant
Sept 27, 1992 – Present
Brett Favre became the Packers’ starting quarterback in the fourth game of the 1992 season. He has started every game of every NFL season since that day. Brett has played through injury and tragedy. Brett is dedicated to playing in every game that he can… sometimes, playing through severe pain in order to do so.
There are team members whose names are written on your schedule ever-so-lightly in pencil. You hope they show up… but, you make back-up plans in case they fall through. Your Brett Favre doesn’t need a schedule. Easter Sunday? They’re there. VBS? They’ll run the craft station… all by themselves. You or your wife expecting a baby? This leader can stand in the gap until you return. The Brett Favre in your ministry area is often known for their constant presence. This presence has secured their place in the hearts of those around them. But… a funny thing happens when you ask your leaders to sign on for another term of commitment – this leader hesitates. There are times when they look at you as though they’re offended you had to ask… there are other times when they’ve failed to sign a commitment card. Yet, for all of the drama they create behind the scenes, their teammates see them as a rock of stability. Calling them “flaky” won’t win you any fans.
What you need to know: Your Brett Favre only pretends to be flaky for two reasons. 1) They feel as though they have served long enough that they are above verbal or written commitments. 2) They need to hear how much you NEED them.
Your Brett Favre is not actually flaky. They are a constant… especially when you wish they weren’t.
You need to know the history of your Brett Favre before you decide how to deal with them.
Remember those questions you thought about during yesterday’s post?
Now that you know a little bit about your Brett, during our next post we’ll talk about how to deal with them and turn them into a great team member.