My sister worked at Disney during the summer of 2018, so we took a trip down to see her and spend some time at the Disney World Parks. While we were park hopping, waving to Belle, and eating Mickey ice cream bars, I noticed a few things about how Disney runs things that can help us do ministry more effectively.
Here are 3 things the Mouse can teach us about ministry.
1) You can be efficient AND effective. The lines may be long for Space Mountain, but they could be MUCH worse. On nearly every ride, Disney has perfected the most efficient and effective system for getting people off the ride faster so more people can get on the ride faster. On top of that, they’ve designed interactive queues to keep you engaged and entertained while you wait.
So for us in ministry, we can ask ourselves… Are our systems the most efficient and effective they could be? In what areas could we make a small change that would open up more opportunities or alleviate some pressure? What practices and positions are in place to leverage our resources and people for maximum effectiveness? (Psst- check out the KidMin Admin Bundle to help you step up your efficiency game.)
2) The experience starts before guests walk through the doors. Before even entering the Magic Kingdom, cast members are there to help answer questions, point you in the right direction, and wish you a magical day. Disney wants to make sure that a guest’s entire experience is a positive one, even before stepping foot inside a park, so they pay attention to those first impression details.
What kind of experience do visitors and church members have before they enter your doors? Does your website and social media reflect your church culture accurately and effectively? Is there a team in place with parking attendants and greeters to help direct people to your door and give them a smile when they enter?
3) Cast members (Disney employees) know what’s expected of them and all share the common goal of providing the ultimate guest experience. My sister shared with me details about the training she went through for the summer and she talked a lot about the culture of the company. The whole team is focused on ensuring a quality guest experience. In 2017, Disney reported almost 200,000 cast members, but everyone, from the bus drivers to the princesses, knows their expectations and goals, and they work together to achieve them.
How do you train new employees or new volunteers? Does your team have a handbook with policies and procedures they can reference throughout the year? Do your volunteers know the vision and mission of your ministry?
We may not have the budget or manpower that Disney does, but we can still apply some of their methods to our ministries to create positive memories and special moments for families and kids.