I think when hearing the term “wow factor,” most people recognize it. They intuitively understand what it means. They see it often if they go to concerts, see shows, take their kids to amusement parks, etc.
The Importance Of The Wow Factor, you know it when you see it. One of the most recognizable experiences, loaded with “the wow,” are fireworks shows. Right? Everyone is standing around, looking up, saying, “wow!” Or, you’re at a rock concert, and the pyrotechnics folks are making things explode on the stage with the beat of the music or, otherwise, when you least expect it. How about an air show with biplanes flying about with people standing on the wings?
A while back, I was attending an Executive Pastors’ Summit. One of the executive pastors happened to be the brother of the Cirque Du Soleil show Mystére at Treasure Island’s Creative Arts Director, David Gomez. He treated us all to a backstage tour right before the show. It was a real treat. Anyway, the show was loaded with “wow!” In fact, at times, there was so much going on, you were afraid you were going to miss something!
Why go to all that trouble? Creating “wow” is expensive and, in the case of Mystére, even dangerous. Sure it makes the show exciting and worth the money you have to spend on a ticket. But, you’re already there. You’ve already decided to buy the ticket. Why go to all the trouble?
It’s easy. Reputation. Why do so many people buy tickets to Cirque Du Soleil every year? Because they’ve either been “wowed” at a previous show, or they’ve heard about the “wow” of previous shows. They want to go and experience something full of “wow.”
Apply this to the church and your growth strategy. I use the example of our annual Kids’ Camp when writing about big events, growth strategy, etc., but I don’t often write about the importance of “the wow” when it comes to these events. I believe one of the reasons our camp grows each year is due to the attention (and expense!) we place on the “wow factor.” We’ve driven a motorcycle through the auditorium, had Darth Vadar and a group of Imperial Storm Troopers surprise the kids, and had a hot air balloon land on the campus. We’ve even shot a character out of a cannon! (That was interesting to pull off!)
And of course, since our Kids’ Camp grows each year, Kids’ Camp Sunday’s attendance grows each year, and so does our opportunity to reach the lost. Now I’m getting around to the mission of the church :).
The “wow factor” doesn’t just apply to big events. It also applies to our services. We’re always trying to do something incredible that will create the “moment” in the service that inspires people to “feel” something. This past Christmas Eve, we made it snow on stage during the Christmas music portion of the service. It wasn’t that fake stuff; it was actually snow! People loved it! Who knows, maybe the people who attended will be more motivated to invite their friends and family next year!