What a year it has been! For many of us, we are just starting to re-emerge into the world again like a stunning butterfly that is breaking free from the constraints of a Cocoon. Before we start flying into the sky, we need to see where we desire to go. Or else it might be a short flight. We would be incredibly foolish to not look around and take a few cues from culture as ministry leaders when it comes to re-opening, re-engaging, and re-emerging into our ministries again.
One of my early mentors gave me the best advice. He said, “If you want to create engaging environments where kids, students, and families want to hang out, then you need to go and spend some time observing the spaces outside of the church where kids, students, and families like to hang out.” Kind of a brainer, huh? But if we are honest, how often do we intentionally do this? When was the last time you went out to observe and learn what is trending today? You seem like you are up for the challenge. Go ahead and stop reading right now and schedule a few dates on your calendar and go out into the world and Observe.
Observe on Social Media
Another place to schedule an observation appointment is on social media. Log in and scroll. Set a timer because it is easy to get lost in there. See what is happening, what’s trending, and what’s engaging.
Here are two key questions you should ask yourself:
What are you learning that you can apply to your context?
What could you do to be more effective in engaging with people?
One of my favorite online finds is the influencers. Equipping and unleashing inspirational people to promote your products from a place of passion and purpose. When are you adding that to your list of volunteer service opportunities?
Something that you simply cannot miss from this past year is the outdoor dining option. I am impressed! There has been some creative genius behind this quick outdoor dining pivot. Honestly, so many restaurants got so creative with designing their outdoor seating venues with themes, decor, lighting, music, etc. What do you observe in these once blank canvases that can inspire you to enhance your own environment?
Restaurant Observation #1 - You just doubled and or tripled your occupancy.
Look around what spaces can be used to add a few more chairs and or a lounge? I hear we ran out of room, and or we don’t have our own building. Be inspired and play outside of the lines.
Restaurant Observation #2- The QR code menu!
So simple and easy. One quick click, and all of the options appear in your hand. No need to wait! For the few restaurants that also made it possible for you to pay for your bill this way. You have my heart. How can you incorporate this into your ministry context and use it with your church software? Perhaps you can create a QR code for parents to register and Pay for their kids to go camping? Make a QR code that allows families to see what’s happening in the life of your church this summer? A QR code learns what their kids are learning? There are so many possibilities with this one. How can you serve your families implementing the QR Code feature? You get a QR code! You get a QR code! Oprah would be proud.
Restaurant Observation #3- A simplified menu.
Less is more! Restaurants chose their most popular items and made those the options. Make a few things and make them incredibly well. What do we need to stop doing to focus on what is most important? @orangeleaders just posted an article about Relationships; Programs, and that is some food for thought! Are you focusing intentional effort on what matters most to you in your life and leadership?
Restaurant Observation #4 – To-go meals.
This was a survival tactic for many to get creative to stay in business. Still, I tell you what the creative family meal deals and bundled items to go were smart! How can you equip families at home with a quick and easy-to-go experience? How does what you are packing for the at-home experience communicate value and meet a need?
A change of pace and a shift in space = a shift in perspective. Get out there and Seek the possibilities you desire. What have you observed?