Carol, Jonathan, Amanda, and I enjoyed the day at Sea World on Saturday. Prior to the killer whale show at Shamu Stadium, I observed two things that Sea World was doing that could be transferred to the local church. The first was their strategic use of preshow infotainment. The second was the importance of single minded focus.
When we pulled into the parking lot of Sea World this morning, there were a handful of protesters outside the park shouting about being kind to animals. One sign said that Sea World was an orca prison. Before the killer whale show, Sea World spent 10 minutes giving an infomercial about how they rescue animals, care for their physical and medical needs, and release back into the wild those who can survive. They were intentional about educating the public about their philosophy and values.
The church could learn much from Sea World about communicating philosophy and values. Our church uses PowerPoint slides prior to the worship service to communicate upcoming events. We should consider producing videos that highlight and explain what we are doing in our various ministries. We should think creatively how to better communicate not only what we are doing, but why we are doing it.
The second principle I learned from Sea World was the importance of single minded focus. Part of the infotainment included Bindi Irwin and Jack Hanna encouraging people to give to a project to help clean and maintain our oceans. They repeated the theme of one–one planet, one ocean, and that one person working with others could make a difference.
Again, the church could learn from this principle. Far too often, we allow people to set and follow their own agendas. We allow them to operate independently rather than encouraging them to fully engage with the rest of the body. The church needs a clear sense of vision and direction. We need to rally people so that the entire body is moving in the same direction and pursuing the same goal. We need a strong sense of one-minded devotion towards fulfilling our purpose and direction. Tying this with the first lesson, the leadership of the church needs to cast a clear vision and then continue to communicate it over and over until we move forward in unity to reach the goal.
It’s amazing what you can learn when you pay attention and learn from others, even from a killer whale.