By Mike Clear
On a Saturday afternoon, back in 1942, a man wanted something fun to do with his two daughters, so he took them to an amusement park. He was looking forward to a meaningful time and a shared experience with his kids.
However, while he was sitting on a bench at this amusement park watching his daughters play, he looked around and noticed how run-down and filthy the small amusement park was. He also observed people’s reactions to the different rides, and he noticed how the parents really had nothing to do. The parents were just sitting there, anxious to go home, while their children rode the same limited amount of rides, over and over again.
The man thought to himself, why hasn’t anyone come up with a new type of park: one that would be clean and safe that would have attractions for parents and children—so they could have a shared experience.
That man’s name was Walt Disney and thus the idea of Disneyland was born . . . he created a park that “would never be completed—as long as there is imagination in the world.”
As churches, why not create an irresistible shared experience that is designed to help shape the way children and parents see faith. Why not provide an environment that helps cue parents so they know what to do when they go home.
If you’ve been hanging out with 252 Basics very long, you know we believe the best way to do this is through a shared “family experience,” or an FX. So, what is an FX exactly? Well, we’ve defined it this way:
An FX is an experience that’s designed to be shared
by parents and children to help them do family better.
We believe that this experience should be interactive; it should be fun, it should include other families, and in some cases may even involve a level of production.
In our experience, there is no better time for a church to try an FX than Christmas. During Christmastime, there is already built-in momentum that you can lean into. Families are already thinking about/looking for activities that they can participate in and experience together. Our hope is that every size church will lean into this time to create some type of shared experience that will engage families.
To help you get started, we created Jingle Jam: Wrapped Up.
Organized around the telling of the Christmas story, Jingle Jam: Wrapped Up will encourage and inspire families to get wrapped up in the idea of generosity and how God gave us His Son, Jesus. This resource is your one-stop shop that has everything you will need to produce a high-quality, memorable Family Experience with a limited amount of volunteers.
I could keep talking about Jingle Jam or I could just show you an example of what it could look like at your church. To check out the video from our Jingle Jam showcase from Orange Conference 2014, head on over to JingleJamFX.com.
Oh wait . . . there’s one more thing!
You can actually help spread some Christmas cheer and help our international partners bring Jingle Jam: Wrapped Up to their church by participating in our GENEROSITY CHALLENGE. Here’s how it works. For every 50 Facebook likes and shares that we have of this blog post this week—through 5 p.m., September 19—we will give a Jingle Jam: Wrapped Up resource to one of our international partners. So, BE GENEROUS and help spread the word about Jingle Jam! Click the “Like” or “Share” button!
Why not wrap up this year by inspiring the families in your church and community to get wrapped up in generosity? After all, it’s the most amazing way we can respond to hearing the story of how God gave us His Son, Jesus.