Looking back on the week and hearing Kaitlyn talk about the trip to everyone who asks, a couple things keep surfacing on why the trip was so great.
- The people: Each and every cast member (that is what they call their employees) was fully there. From the instance they saw you coming, they were focused on one thing: You. They listened intently. They observed you. Each time Kaitlyn went up to someone they bent to her level. They asked her about what she did. They talked about what she was wearing. They were in that magical moment and the thousands of people milling about could have been non-existent.
- They make it easy. They let you make your choices and then make it as easy as possible for you to do what you want to do. Fast passes on the rides you really want, everything (room key, meal plan, park admission) linked on your ‘magic band’ wristband, apps on the phone to see how long waits are and what is available, flowing through restaurants in almost no time. They take away the restrictions and allow you to do what YOU desire to do.
- The experience matters more than the attractions. The rides were fun. The shows are well orchestrated. Amazing fireworks. But in a few months it is the experiences we actually participated in that will stand out. If you ask Kaitlyn, it was the hands on things she did that will stand out: having the wand ‘choose’ her in Olivander’s shop, completing the Magical Sorceror quest game at Disney, being part of the Jedi training show. The lights and music all bring it to life but the actual moments of participation are the things that will never fade from memory.
We need to make it easy for people to do what God has called THEM to do, not that which is most convenient or expedient for the church. We have to enable their call and have systems in place to encourage and support even the oddball plans (like those Rybergs who went to Animal Kingdom for one ride in the morning then came back 10 hours later for dinner).
And finally, we have to make opportunities for people to experience God. Because it is not a perfectly executed worship or the awesomest Sunday school plan that will matter in 10 years. It will be those moments of engagement with other people in serving and caring that we experience God’s presence. These things stick with us. Forever.