Our family was in a hotel recently and they had a kids treasure chest. At check-in, children can pick one item from the chest. In the chest, was a bunch of toys; a few of which were these styrofoam gliders.
The boys grabbed them with excitement and ran over to me. “Dad, check these out! Aren’t they awesome?”
“They are awesome!” I explained to my boys that their uncles and I had loads of these growing up. As I put together the 2 planes, I was immediately taken back to my childhood. No instructions needed.
I knew exactly how to put together these bad boys.
My boys had a blast.
My wife and I nearly lost an eye a couple of times, as the 2 planes zipped back and forth across the room. The 2 planes lasted about as long as they did when my brothers had them, back in the day.
There’s only so many crash landings a styrofoam plane can take, before they’re out of commission.
Yesterday, I saw them again.
They were at our local Canadian Tire in Whitehorse. As I was at the check-out there was a huge basket of styrofoam gliders. They were on sale too, at $0.89 each. I had to get a picture.
Why are these planes still around?
After years and years of toy manufacturers creating amazing toys, electronics and video games; why are these styrofoam gliders still being bought and sold by kids everywhere?
I think there’s more to these gliders. There’s something to be learned from these little planes and why they’ve lasted for so many years.
Furthermore, there’s a few takeaways that I believe we can learn from these gliders in reference to how we do ministry.
1. These gliders work.
Looking at our styrofoam planes, they fly really well. They’re light weight and the wing-span is matched perfectly. Moreover, a little twist or bend of the tale and you can pull off some great loops.
If these gliders didn’t work well, they would have been scrapped years ago.
Our ministries should work.
This isn’t matter of keeping a ministry around because we’ve always done it. If it’s not working, we need to scrap it. However, if the ministry is still functional, then press onward.
If it’s still accomplishing the original goals and objectives, then keep rolling.
2. These gliders look good.
Once you get these planes put together, they’re a sharp looking toy. They’re attractive to look at in your hand or in the air. Add in that little working propeller and the glider is awesome to see in flight.
Our ministries should look good.
It should be extremely obvious from someone on the outside, that something good is happening. When people are being cared for and the Gospel is being spread, people are joyful and that’s attractive. It’s almost irresistible.
If we’re not seeing that, the ministry is not fruitful and needs to change.
3. These gliders are diverse.
Though every plane is exactly the same structurally, they don’t look alike. From British to American, German to Japanese; the planes are as diverse as the original models. The diversity could almost make them collectible.
Our ministries should be diverse.
No 2 food banks are alike, no 2 small groups are alike, no 2 church services are alike, etc. Yet, all of these ministries are accomplishing their intended ministry purpose.
Though the ministry purpose may stay the same, it can be packaged, promoted and facilitated differently, to keep it fresh. The same goals are being accomplished, but with greater results because of the diversity.
Diversity is key to ministry growth.
Did you ever own one of these styrofoam gliders? What else can we learn from their longevity?