Finally, people.  This is the last in a series of blog posts.  You can catch up here.

Today we’re cranking out a two-fer.  That’s right: two Disney principles in one post, which is exactly what you need on the day that you’re in a tryptophan coma / Black Friday frenzy / dirty dishes up to your elbows.  Try to keep up.

Find something to celebrate.

Every year Disney parks have a big theme.  This year’s theme centers around celebration.  Every single day, I saw hundreds of people wearing Disney-issued buttons that had the name of their celebration.  It might have been a first visit, an anniversary, a honeymoon, or whatever, but Disney gave people the opportunity to celebrate something, and took the opportunity to celebrate with them.

As we were preparing for our trip, we were asked that question on multiple times: Are you celebrating something? And as I walked around the park, I saw cast members taking full advantage of the celebration.  A street sweeper yelled, “Happy birthday, Ben!” to a five year old kid.  He lit up like a Christmas tree.  A ride operator bantered with a couple about their honeymoon.  The entire atmosphere was geared towards celebration.

Does it work that way at our churches?  The way I see it, we have at least two things to celebrate every weekend:

  1. A guest’s attendance.  Max Lucado had a killer tweet a couple of weeks ago: “Make a big deal out of guests’ arrival. Swing open the door as they approach. One of God’s children is coming to your house!”
  2. A risen savior.  Face it: most of our worship services feel more like a funeral.  Dead songs.  Dead people. Dead sermons.  We forget that we don’t worship a dead guy, but one who was dead and rose.  That’s the ticket to celebration, right there.

You will make a memory.

Nobody walks away from a Disney trip empty-headed.  They’re thinking about the incredible meal, the first-class treatment, or the the incredible coasters.  Or, they’re thinking about the indifferent cast members, the overpriced hotel, or the favorite ride that was closed for repairs.

The truth is, we’re creating a memory every time someone walks into our church.  And we hold the power on whether that memory is good or bad.  Plan your weekend to celebrate Jesus and with people in mind.  Remember that every Sunday is somebody’s first Sunday.  And when people are replaying weekend memories around the Monday water cooler, make sure the things that they remember are the things you want them to advertise.

Thanks for hanging in during this series.  If you’re a Disney buff like me, you might want to check out the following resources that highlight their commitment to quality first impressions:

Other posts in this series: