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Four Observations to Jump Start 2012

Yesterday Julie and I along with our two youngest, Tanner and Christy, spent the day at Busch Gardens in Tampa Bay. It was a beautiful day with great weather and the attendance at the park was light. This meant we were able to experience many of the rides without long lines.  All in all it was a really fun day.

As usual I walked away from the park with some observations that could be beneficial to us in our ministries. As we all begin a New Year with great expectations and plans it’s good to evaluate our current state of affairs and look for ways to improve the experience for our families.  Here are some things that I was reminded of at the amusement park yesterday:

1.  Little Things Matter:  There is a steam train that travels through the entire park and as we rode the train we passed through many different sections of the park.  What I noticed is that whenever we passed a park employee, regardless of their position, they stopped and waved at the train.  Such a small thing yet it really added to the experience for the riders.

2. Exceptional Cleanliness Gets Noticed: Too often when you use a public restroom it’s an experience you would like to forget.  Cleanliness is apparent throughout the park and the restroom is no exception. When was the last time you “white gloved” the facilities at your church? in your hallway? in your classrooms?

3. Kids Love Characters:  As we entered the park there were Stilt Walkers in colorful costumes to greet everyone.  For many this was a Kodak moment and even those that did not want a picture got a high-five from the characters.  What a great way to start the day.  I hope to have a Fun Factory Mascot soon greeting our kids each Sunday morning.

4. Engage Kids & Parents: Throughout the park there are opportunities for entire families to experience an event together. What would need to change to make this a reality in our ministries?

2012 is here and that means fresh starts, new challenges and great opportunities.  Let’s do all that we can do to make this an incredible year of ministry to kids and families!