What if the Church Was More Like Disney World

Let me start by apologizing to all the people who dislike comparing religion using business terms. The fact of the matter is I dispise religion as an institution of man, but I love the church as the body and bride of Christ.  But sometimes, sadly, commercialism gives us an insight into some of the things that the “Church” misses out on to connect with people.

While on vacation with my family we recently spent a week at Disney World. In the middle of the third day we were standing in line for the Adventures of Winnie the Pooh when a thought occurred to me, “what is it about Disney that makes everyone better people and more importantly why doesn’t Christianity have that same impact?” This occurred to me because in the line to the ride Disney has created a children’s line that runs parallel to the adult line that has a playground and games. Without this you would have a miserable line of people waiting 30-40 minutes in 95 degree heat and kids complaining “I don’t want to stand, I’m tired, why do we have to wait, etc.”. Our 30 minute wait turned into another Disney dream come true.

Over the 6 days at Disney I saw people opening doors for strangers, picking up trash that wasn’t theirs, and invading each others private space without complaint. Why? Because Disney is the happiest place on earth and why would you want to do anything that would ruin your experience or that of someone around you? And how is it that a major corporate business can get this down and Christianity can’t?

Would Disney World be the happiest place on earth if people behaved the same way they do at church?  You’d probably say things like:

The Winnie the Pooh ride is not what Walt Disney envisioned, and is a blasphemy designed by Universal studios to distract us.  

Snow White is the only true princess, the rest are all frauds.

That type of behavior would make Mickey Mouse sad.  You need to stop that.

What if Christian’s adopted the idea of not ruining the “Jesus Experience” for someone else?  What would it look like?  How would Christian behavior change?

  • Maybe there would be less arguing over which type of music is appropriate in church
  • Maybe there would be more people helping each other than helping themselves
  • Maybe there would be less judgmentalism, legalism, politics, gossip, and social hierarchy in church
  • Maybe there would be more people who want to go to church, instead of feeling they have to go to church
  • Maybe there would be more people excited about sharing the love of Jesus

Disney World showed me a picture of taking care of yourself (family vacation), enjoying what someone else has done for you (the Disney Experience), and not worrying about other people (peacefully waiting in lines).  Christians could learn something from this.  Jesus talked about the kingdom of heaven, and honestly, how much different would it look from Disney World (with the exception of $5 bottles of water)?



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