Disney ideas for youth ministry: enjoy the journey

Fast Pass is a great Disney invention.

If you’ve never been to Disney World (or haven’t gone in a long time), certain rides and attractions give you the option of a Fast Pass, which prints out a time for you to return.  The idea is you “wait in line” without actually having to wait in line.

You get a Fast Pass, leave to see other attractions, and return during your time frame.  You wait in a much smaller “fast pass” line (usually 10 minutes or so) and ride the ride.  You get the benefit of not weaving monotonously through the maze of the line and seeing other Disney attractions during the time.

Only the most fastpass-400popular rides have Fast Pass options and it saves you a ton of time.

However, I discovered a downside.  You see, Disney plans little activities, games, videos and story elements in the regular lines.  As you wait for Winnie the Pooh, kids can interact with honey walls, bee balls and garden drums.  On Splash Mountain, you hear the background to the story while waiting in line.  At Space Mountain, video games and interactive displays keep you from boredom.

If you get a Fast Pass, you miss all that.  Sure, you ride the attraction quickly, but you miss part of the experience of the ride.  You don’t submerse yourself in a spaceport.  You miss the Hundred Acre Woods.  You enter Splash Mountain wondering who the narrator really is.

Fast Pass allows you to skip the line, but also causes you to miss the adventure of the journey.   Unless you’re paying attention, you never know what you missed.

In youth ministry, we can be guilty of that at times.  In a quest to cram as much as we can into our schedules and accommodate as many students as possible, we sometimes fail to appreciate the journey.  We promote and plan an event, and when it’s over, we quickly move on to the next attraction on our calendar.

Sometimes we need to stop and appreciate the journey.  It’s important to take photos and share stories and reminisce about the event.  When we get so caught up in the next event, we miss what God is doing in the one we just finished.

Take some time and appreciate the journey.  Don’t be so eager to get to the next thing.  Instead, stop and enjoy what’s happening.  Submerse your students in what God is doing.  You won’t regret it.

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Wayne Yeager is the pastor at Glasford Baptist Church in the small town of Glasford, Il. As a 12-year veteran of ministry, his experience comes from small, rural churches and congregations. Wayne is married to Sara and they have two children. Wayne attends Liberty Seminary, studying for a Masters of Divinity in Christian Counseling. You can follow Wayne's blog at http://wyeager.blogspot.com.

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