Ministry Lessons From Walt Disney


Disneyland’s opening day turned out to be a logistical
challenge. Walt had sent out 6,000 invitations, but 28,000 people
showed up. The temperature shot up to 110 degrees, and only a few
water fountains worked. Ladies’ high-heeled shoes got stuck in the
newly laid asphalt! Several rides and attractions broke or didn’t
work, and there wasn’t enough food. Newspapers called the opening
day Black Sunday. But Walt stayed with his vision, and Disneyland
quickly became an extraordinary park. Within 10 years, 50 million
visitors had entered and enjoyed the fruit of his vision.

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What would happen if we caught a fresh vision from God for our
children’s ministries? What if we began to passionately pursue that
vision? What if we pursued it through difficulty and challenges
until we saw it come to pass?

Cued In

  1. Through prayer and strategic thinking, get a vision for your
  2. If God has already given you a vision for your ministry, ask
    him to renew and refresh your passion to pursue it.
  3. Formulate a plan that will bring your vision into reality.
  4. Decide now that nothing will stop you from seeing the vision
    come to pass.

Cue #2: Cleanliness

If you drop a piece of paper at Disneyland, an employee picks it
up. Before the park opened, Walt took a hot dog, ate it while
walking, and counted the steps. So even to this day, the trash cans
are 17 to 25 steps apart — just the right distance to throw away a
hot dog wrapper when you’ve finished eating.

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In the same way, our children’s ministry areas need to be clean
and tidy. No matter how new or old your building is, there’s one
thing you can do — keep it clean. What a poor testimony it is for
people to see sloppy classrooms and stinky nurseries.

Cued In

  1. Schedule regular walk-throughs of your buildings — inside and
    out. Get several people to go through classroom areas and restrooms
    with you and make notes of areas that need special attention.
    Prioritize that list and knock it out one item at a time.
  2. Train people by example to never walk by a piece of paper lying
    on the ground.
  3. Organize a work day to do spring cleaning at the church.

Cue #3: Creativity

Outside many of the rides are signs that say, “Brought to you by
the Imagineers of Disney — we make the magic happen.” Teams of
creative people dreamed big together and then made the dreams come

It’s so easy to fall into a pattern of doing the same old
programs the same old way that we miss new opportunities to
effectively communicate to today’s generation. A team of creative
people working together always accomplishes more than one creative
person working alone. There are creative people waiting in your
church to come up with great ideas to help you effectively reach
and teach children. Get them together and just watch what

Cued In

  1. Identify creative people in your church who could form a
    creative team of six to eight members.
  2. Set a time to meet with these people on a regular basis to have
    creative think time.
  3. Consider any programs or parts of your ministry that have
    outlived their usefulness and need to be replaced with something
    more creative.
  4. Let your team’s creativity flow, and list their creative ideas.
    Then choose the priority items to do.


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