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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

What if Mickey Mouse ran a church?

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What would it look like if Mickey Mouse or Walt Disney ran the church?  Or were a Senior Pastors?  Pastor Mickey? or better yet Rev. Dr. Walter Elias "Walt" Disney?

"What trouble? Blasphemy"  Yup, I heard you.

But seriously what if Mickey did run the church? What would that look like? Let us look at Disney and Mickey's other big venture and see how they do things.  At that point perhaps we can surmise how they might have run the church.


Facts about Disney and Mickey's organization in Florida:


1. The June 2011 AECOM Theme Park Attendance report for the year of 2010, included the following information:
  • Magic Kingdom, 16.97 million visits (No. 1 worldwide)
  • Epcot, 10.83 million visits (No. 5)
  • Disney's Animal Kingdom, 9.67 million visits (No. 7)
  • Disney's Hollywood Studios, 9.60 million visits (No. 8)


2. In a March 30, 2004 article in The Orlando Sentinel, then-Walt Disney World president Al Weiss gave some insight into how the parks are maintained:

  • More than 5,000 cast members are dedicated to maintenance and engineering, including 750 horticulturists and 600 painters.
  • Disney spends more than $100 million every year on maintenance at the Magic Kingdom. In 2003, $6 million was spent on renovating its Crystal Palace restaurant. 90 percent of guests say that the upkeep and cleanliness of the Magic Kingdom are excellent or very good.
  • The streets in the parks are steam cleaned every night.
  • There are cast members permanently assigned to painting the antique carousel horses; they use genuine gold leaf.
  • There is a tree farm on site so that when a mature tree needs to be replaced, a thirty-year-old tree will be available to replace it.


3. When the Magic Kingdom opened in 1971, the site employed about 5,500 "cast members". Today it employs more than 66,000, spending more than $1.2 billion on payroll and $474 million on benefits each year. The largest single-site employer in the United States.

(For further info click here)

These facts about are Walt Disney's enterprise, sadly Walt died before he could see the full extent of his vision come to pass.  Yet it still became a reality.  How does this relate to the church though?  Simple:  The church is the only entity that was established by God through Christ that deals with eternal merchandise.  We should be doing everything in our power to ensure that everyone that comes through the doors of the church has the same feeling as they would if they went to Disney World.  It would be the WOW factor.  What would be the "WIN" then?  For guest at church to be so engaged by the attention to details in the church that it would be easier them to be open to the life-changing message of the Gospel.

Let us face it people are not changed over night.  Everyone needs to be exposed long enough to something for it to have an effect on them.  The reality is that less and less people are growing up in the traditional Christian homes so they don't have those Christian values.  Therefore, it would be impossible for them to understand and relate to Hymns, standing for hours on end in church because of you are supposed to,  or even Sunday school.  It would be fair to suggest that we should not get rid of many of the church's traditions but many of our methods and environments need to be critiqued.  So we should embrace some level of change.

Why should this change be embraced?  Because its a matter of someone's eternal future.  Here is the catch:  The average package of for a family of 4 on a Disney world Vacation experience can range at a minimum of $3000 and that is a quick thrill and goosebumps on their goosebumps.  But that same family coming to church and hearing the gospel would be FREE and would have eternal dividends.  There is no comparison but that family must feel engaged so that they church experience would be have some of the WOW as a Disney vacation.

So Pastors and church leaders lets look at what we are doing in church? Regardless of your religious practice or dogma their is something you can improve on.  I am not suggesting that you should break out a whole production program but have you paid attention to some details: like are the bathrooms working properly and fully stocked?  Is the building well painted?  is it hard for a guest at the church to find a seat?  Does that guest feel welcomed? Are guest followed up on?  Do they know you care? etc etc

If you have no clue to some of these questions.  Here is a free resource that can help you and start you on your way to helping you to build God's kingdom by His grace.  The link is below:

http://www.churchleaderinsights.com/index.php/free-stuff/fusion-book-summary  (Its FREE until Friday, June 29th, 2012)

There is also a great resource that all Pastors who are serious about building ministry should read.  Its called Fusion by Nelson Searcy.


This pastor, Nelson Searcy took everything he learned about assimilating people into a church community and put it into a book.  I would say that this is not exhaustive or a rule book but it is a tremendous aid that has great ideas that can be easily implemented and managed.  Another good book is by Ed Young, The Creative Leader.



So then maybe who knows by making a few changes you can help to change a generation for Jesus.  Also, remember we may have tons of resources at our disposal but we have also have God's Spirit.

Why is this important:  The story goes that two guys went to a revival service and it was crowded.  The guys turned to leave.  A very alert and welcoming say them and called to them.  These two guys were able to be ushered to some seats.  At the end of the service the young men gave their lives to the Lord.  One of those young men was Billy Graham.  Now just think if that Usher wasn't there?

Little changes can render limitless results.

Thanks for reading.  Follow me on twitter @bjornjb

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