Have you ever been to the circus and watched the high wire act? Sure, it’s more than most of us can do to walk across a line stretched tightly between the poles high above our heads. But that’s not the high wire act, is it? Yes, they stay on the wire, but the excitement is when someone takes a bicycle across, or carries someone in a wheelbarrow, or gets out to the middle and starts jumping rope— that’s the real magic of the act. The reason we can’t wait, and the reason every single eye is on the person on the wire is all because we are taking an incredible act, and adding even more value to it by doing the unexpected.
So, what does a circus have to do with a Family Experience? Nooo, I’m not saying we need a high wire act. I’m saying that if you are a veteran, if you can make sure the Bottom Line is clear for your audience, if you can produce a quality production for your audience, if you consistently have a moment that families remember—then maybe it’s time to introduce something unexpected. When do you have that moment in your FX that makes the audience gasp and say, “I sure wasn’t expecting that!”
Here are a few ideas to challenge your team and surprise your audience:

  1. Hit the Bottom Line in a new and focused way. This could involve someone else presenting, or using a different medium like music, video, posters, etc.
  2. Change something about the way your environment looks and feels. Is it time for a new coat of paint? Is it time to rearrange or add some lighting? Should you change the way the audience is seated?
  3. Ministry is about life change. Always be on the alert for ways to connect to the entire purpose of the Family Experience. Share stories with your team in a new way. Emphasize with your audience that you want to hear how the FX has impacted them. Put a story collector shirt on a volunteer, give them a clipboard or a camera and have them talk to people before and after the event.
  4. Change the order of the presentation. Let an audience get used to the “regular” order so you can change it to emphasize something important.
  5. So, what have you already thought about doing that is unexpected on your next trip across the high wire?