I saw James Pilmore and Joe Pine, the authors of The Experience Economy at Catalyst in 2004 and I wasn’t impressed. However, I understand why the Catalyst guys invited them , because their book was fantastic. This is one of those books I’ve been meaning to read, but 2007 was the year I finally got around to it.
A few great thoughts they had:
– What would we do differently if we charged admission?
– Focus on what people will remember
– How does your process affect what you offer?
– A brand must be tweaked every 5 years
– You make memories, not goods
Of course, with any book that is not geared for churches or church leaders, you have to glean what might be helpful. But some of their thought got me thinking about how much we value experience as a culture. Contrary to many, I believe it is a good thing. It means we want to feel and not just download information. We remember better when there’s an emotion attached to our memories or learning experience.
I think this is a tightrope that we have to walk as church leaders. We want church to be a great experience, but we don’t want the tail to wag the dog. We want people to experience and know God in our services, our responsibility is to engage people where they are and create the kind of environment where that person and God can meet.