What the church can learn from Disney

Our family had the privilege of going to Disney World in Orlando, Florida on vacation a couple weeks ago. As I was there, I couldn’t help contemplating some of the things that Disney has done probably better than any other institution in modern times. It was my first visit in almost 17 years. I was amazed at how much had changed as well as how much had stayed the same, but all the while with the same level of excellence. Below are just a few thoughts that I had while there.

1. Music that touches the masses still touches the masses (I saw every possible generation having a great time and no one was complaining about the music).
2. Family atmosphere is still a major attraction
3. Excellence matters
4. People will pay good money just to see someone’s creativity (there are bigger and better roller coasters, but no one attracts more visitors than Disney World).
5. Nothing is more important to people than their kids (I was amazed at how long people will stand in line for a 4-minute experience and pay $5 for a hotdog!).
6. An incredible tradition coupled with great innovation bring the same people back year after year (or month after month…that’s for you, Melissa!).
7. Disney has created a culture of “yes” and “why not?”. (when guarded with biblical truth, this isn’t a bad idea for most churches–many in our culture have associated the church with “no” or “smite” (that’s for you, Paul), and we wonder why people don’t come).
8. People don’t merely want to “attend”, “see”, or “observe”, but they want to experience.
9. Everyone there has been taught how to make everybody esle feel like a million bucks (I guess that’s because they convinced me to leave mine at the gate…ouch!).
10. While they do everything thoroughly with excellence, they still allow room for the individual’s own sense of wonder and imagination.

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