Sunday, May 17, 2009

What's in a Name II

In January I blogged about our new name for our Children's Ministries program. We've seen the great benefits giving ourselves a new name among our kids--the elementary students loving going through our weekly routine of saying, "Welcome to.... (insert arm motions of throwing them in the air like you're on a roller coaster and calling out with great excitement) Advennnnnture... (insert arm motions in shape of mountain above head, and using a very deep voice, because a mountainous voice is, of course, deep) MOUNTAIN."

But the greater benefits of becoming Adventureland come from our visitors. As each new family stands at our main registration table, their kids stand and look at this sign. As they stand their, older siblings excitedly tell the younger ones, "You get to go to Adventureland Cove!" Or they ask, "Do I get to go to Adventureland Mountain?" Having a Disney-like name really helps newcomers feel a greater sense of excitement as they enter our program. If we can get them excited at that first moment, they are less apprehensive about entering their class. If we get them excited to enter their class, they more readily engage in our lessons and small groups. And if they engage in our lessons and small groups, they're more likely to tell their parents the had a great time. And if they had a great time, I'm pretty sure they'll return!
We had a good program before we had a good name. But this name makes a strong, lasting first impression. But as good as a name is, it would be meaningless if it didn't represent what they experience once the classroom is entered. So what is in a name? A great first impression, but even more, the representation of something better.

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